United ready to splurge on van Gaal's army
MANCHESTER United are prepared to break transfer records in order to give new manager Louis van Gaal the players he wants, according to executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.
The English football giants have already spent over £50 million (about S$105 million) on England left-back Luke Shaw and Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera, and Woodward says that they are ready to spend even more.
Some of United's European rivals have spent big recently.
On Tuesday, Real Madrid signed James Rodriguez from Monaco for a fee of about £63 million, while Barcelona paid Liverpool about £75 million for Luis Suarez.
Asked if United were able to pay a similar amount for a player, Woodward said: "It is in our capabilities..."
United are rebuilding under van Gaal after a dismal 2013-14 season and Woodward said that the Red Devils would have no qualms about sanctioning big-money signings.
"Whether it's a record or not doesn't really resonate with us," he added, in comments reported by the British media yesterday.
"What resonates is a top, top elite player who the manager wants, who is going to be a star for Manchester United. We are in a very strong financial position. We can make big signings."
United have been linked with a host of players in recent weeks, including Germany centre-back Mats Hummels, Belgium defender Thomas Vermaelen, and the Dutch trio of Daley Blind, Stefan de Vrij and Kevin Strootman.
Meanwhile, van Gaal said that he was pleased with the focus of his new players in training sessions.
"Training has been fantastic," the Dutchman told the media in Los Angeles on Tuesday, where United are on a training tour.
"You may think every new trainer or coach would say that, but it's true. They seem anxious to do what I and my assistants say.
"Their focus is at a top level and I am very happy with what I have seen in the first three days of training here."
However, he bemoaned the club's lengthy pre-season tour to the United States and said it was not helping preparations for the English domestic campaign.
United were scheduled to play the Los Angeles Galaxy at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena yesterday, and then play at least three matches - in Denver, Washington and Detroit - as part of the International Champions Cup.
They could play a fourth, in Miami on Aug 4, if they reach the final after the matches against AS Roma, Inter Milan and Real Madrid.