Woodward admits Man Utd transfer window failure

Ed Woodward, the executive vice-chairman of Manchester United, has admitted the club did not make the signings they needed during the transfer window, the Daily Mirror has reported, although Woodward also feels not enough credit is coming the way of the Premier League champions for retaining Wayne Rooney after the striker looked bound to leave the club.

David Moyes, the United manager, had identified the centre of midfield as the primary area in which to improve, intending to sign two players for the position, as well as another left-back to challenge Patrice Evra for his first XI place. In the end, however, United signed only Marouane Fellaini, the Everton midfielder, in the final hours of the transfer window.

Woodward is said to have acknowledged the failure to sign a second midfielder and a left-back after United made moves for but failed to deliver Ander Herrera, Cesc Fabregas, Thiago Alcantara, Daniele De Rossi, Leighton Baines and Fabio Coentrao.

This summer was Woodward’s first with responsibility for transfers after replacing David Gill at the helm of the Old Trafford club, and is said to have been hurt by the criticism coming his way despite admitting United should have done better in their transfer business. But Woodward believes keeping hold of Rooney in the face of interest from Chelsea and Arsenal is an achievement that has gone undervalued outside the club.

And United insist they did not make offers for Real Madrid pair Sami Khedira and Mesut Ozil, the former remaining at the Santiago Bernabeu and the latter moving to Arsenal for £42.5m.

United have started the season under Moyes in mixed form, winning the Community Shield against Wigan and beating Swansea in their first league game, but drawing at home with title rivals Chelsea and losing to Liverpool in the final league outing before the international break.

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