Man Utd chief Ed Woodward has big transfer problem only the Glazers can solve
Manchester United chief Ed Woodward must find a way to lessen Joel Glazer’s resolve. As things stand, it’s the Red Devils’ owners who are holding up a deal that would take Jadon Sancho to Old Trafford. And while Woodward gets plenty of flak, things regarding this deal aren’t necessarily his fault.
Woodward is a divisive figure among Manchester United fans.
Many blame him for the club’s tumble down the footballing pyramid in the years since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement, with the club going seven years and counting without the Premier League title.
Many supporters also accuse him of being under the Glazers’ spell.
After all, they own United and Woodward is an employee.
But so too is Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Mike Phelan. Everybody follows orders from somebody else but, at the end of the day, it’s the Americans with the power at the club. Woodward may be in their good books but he’s no different to the rest.
And as things stand, it’s they who are holding up the Sancho deal. Joel Glazer, specifically.
This was revealed by The Athletic last month. It was explained that Joel feels big-money signings at the current time would be insensitive, regardless of the club’s Premier League rivals strengthening around them.
In fairness, the Glazers have pumped plenty of money into the club when it comes to signings – albeit with some balancing of the books going on as well.
They recruited Angel Di Maria, Daley Blind, Marcos Rojo, Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw in the summer of 2014, as well as landing Radamel Falcao on loan.
A year later, United spent to sign Morgan Schneiderlin, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Anthony Martial and Memphis Depay.
And, under Jose Mourinho, the Red Devils spent big on players such as Paul Pogba, Fred, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly.
But Joel is a stubborn character.
He famously turned Mourinho down when he tried to offload Martial to Inter Milan, telling the current Tottenham boss that the France international was the club’s very own version of Pele.
And that means that Woodward may have his work cut out when it comes to convincing them to cough up the full £108million that Dortmund want for Sancho.
Make no mistake about it, the club want him. Solskjaer wants him. And Woodward, like the Norwegian, feels he’s a player worth investing in – which is why he’s spent so much time negotiating.
For the United chief, it’s he who will get the criticism if the 20-year-old stays at Dortmund.
But he needs the Glazers, and Joel specifically, to budge on their current stance.
If United don’t land Sancho, anybody else recruited for the right wing will feel like a disappointment from the get go.
They’d also have to contend with a year of transfer rumours. If United don’t sign Sancho this summer, it’s inevitable they’ll try and try again until the player either signs or he becomes out of reach.
So Woodward must do his utmost to convince the Glazers into softening their stance. If not, he’ll be the fall guy – and another season of underachievement may await.