Manchester United players look on after the 0-0 draw against Liverpool at Anfield in Liverpool, England, December 17, 2023. /CFP

Manchester United players look on after the 0-0 draw against Liverpool at Anfield in Liverpool, England, December 17, 2023. /CFP

Though Manchester United have been struggling badly in the 2023-24 season, they are unlikely to make any big moves when the winter transfer window opens, the club’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) Collette Roche confirmed on Tuesday.

United were fined 257,000 pounds (about $325,547.04) in July for a “minor breach” of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules. Everton also lost 10 points for violating the Premier League’s financial regulations. The “Red Devils” have learned enough to think twice before signing any big check.

“We are not expecting it (the January transfer window) to be particularly busy,” Roche said at the fans’ forum. “There will always be the possibility of deals around the edges of the squad, particularly in terms of finding opportunities for players who are not playing as much football as they would like.”

“However, we have always been consistent in saying that we do not see January as the optimal time to do business, and our recruitment strategy remains focused on summer windows,” the COO added. “We have seen this season that Financial Fair Play rules have real teeth, so we have to be very careful to ensure we remain compliant, and we will. That means being really disciplined on spending going forward, with a balance between incomings and outgoings.”

Manchester United fans hold up letters spelling

Manchester United fans hold up letters spelling “Glazers Out” to protest against the club’s owners, the Glazers, at Old Trafford in Manchester, England, April 28, 2022. /CFP

Manchester United fans hold up letters spelling “Glazers Out” to protest against the club’s owners, the Glazers, at Old Trafford in Manchester, England, April 28, 2022. /CFP

United are in seventh place in the Premier League with 28 points after 17 games, and they have exited the UEFA Champions League as the bottom team of the group, meaning that they failed to even go the UEFA Europa League. Judging by their performance on the field, the club is problematic in all three lines and can definitely use some big new signings during the winter transfer window to fix at least some of their problems.

The Glazers who own United agreed to sell 25 percent of the club’s shares to Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS for about 1.3 billion pounds (about $1.65 billion) in October. Once that deal is done, Ratcliffe will have control of the club’s recruitment. Many of the fans have been fed up with the Glazers’ management and operation of the Red Devils and expect Ratcliffe to make a change.

“I know you (the fans) will be disappointed that we don’t yet have an outcome to the strategic review,” United’s interim CEO Patrick Stewart said at the fans’ forum. “All I can say is that it’s a complicated process, and the relevant people are working hard to bring it to a conclusion as soon as possible.”

United spent as much as 202.3 million euros (about $221.8 million) during the summer transfer window. The winter transfer window for the Premier League will open on January 1, 2024.

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