Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admits he is in the dark about how much money he will have to spend this summer as the club cope with the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
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United have invested heavily over the last 12 months, spending more than £200m on Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Daniel James and Bruno Fernandes, as Solskjaer begins his overhaul of the squad.
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Arrivals are expected at Old Trafford this summer after another season without challenging for the title – which has ended up in the hands of rivals Liverpool – with Borussia Dortmund forward Sancho among their targets.
But funds may not be as readily available as before, warns Solskjaer.
“I think the pandemic has hit everyone really hard,” said Solskjaer ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup quarter-final tie at Norwich.
“I still think we need to wait and see how things are panning out to know the real effects of the pandemic, to know what kind of financial state we are in.
“You see some teams invest, some teams don’t. We’ll have to take a big look at things ourselves to see how hard we’ve been hit. I know the club has announced a few numbers before.
“It’s not for me to say here now we are going to have X amount because I don’t really know. I don’t really know how hard we have been hit. We are a financially strong club, but we are also probably being hit more than anybody else.
“Let’s see how quickly we can get our fans back into the stadium and of course the league position is going to be important for us this season. If we can get a trophy, the FA Cup or the Europa League.
“The Europa League will also qualify us for the Champions League, there’s still a lot of uncertainty and these three or four months, every businessman in the world, every footballer in the world, I think everyone is still unsure what the effect will be.”
‘We’ve shown we can match best teams’
United have beaten Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham this season, as well as taking points off a Liverpool team that has only lost once in the league, but have come unstuck against teams lower down the table.
Solskjaer is encouraged by United’s results in the big games but has told his squad they need to improve their consistency to reach the level of title-winners Liverpool.
“I feel that we have shown at our best that we can match the best teams,” continued Solskjaer.
“That is the challenge for me and the players certainly that we can have that consistency now. We cannot afford to have the bad periods that we had earlier on in the season.
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