Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has received renewed public backing from the club’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, who insists the Norwegian will be supported in the transfer market.
Solskjaer’s performance has once again come under scrutiny during a lacklustre and inconsistent start to the 2020/21 season, chiefly at home, with away-day specialists United currently ninth in the Premier League following an impressive comeback win at Southampton on Sunday.
The spectre of Mauricio Pochettino has loomed large over Solskjaer for some time, with that speculation only increasing since the former Tottenham boss signalled his intention to return to top-level management soon.
However, the former Red Devils striker has always maintained the public support of United’s hierarchy, and that didn’t change when the influential Woodward appeared at a fans’ forum on November 20.
"We recognise there's more hard work ahead to achieve the consistency needed to win trophies," Woodward said.
"But we see positive signs on the pitch and the training ground that reinforce our belief in the progress being made by Ole, his coaching team and the players."
Addressing United’s transfer plans after an oft-frustrating and relatively quiet summer window that only produced deals for Donny van de Beek and late swoops for Alex Telles and Edinson Cavani, Woodward insisted Solskjaer would continue to receive the necessary support targeting summer windows - a comment that many fans appear to have taken to mean that January reinforcements may not be forthcoming.
“I said in April we remained committed to strengthening the squad, while being disciplined in our spending during the pandemic,” he said.
"I believe we've delivered on that, with the additions we made during the summer taking our total net spending to over €200m (£180m) since summer 2019 - more than any other major European club over that period.
"We will continue to support Ole with a planned, long-term approach to recruitment, focused on the summer windows."
The United chief also dismissed accusations that the failed ‘Project Big Picture’ - a plan worked on by United and rivals Liverpool - was a “behind-closed-doors power grab”, while, on the subject of a potential European breakaway league, he also insisted that any changes to European competition post-2024 must be “complementary to thriving domestic leagues”.
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