Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has confirmed that boss Louis van Gaal will be given more money to spend in the January transfer market in order to compete for a top three finish this season.
The Red Devils were the biggest Premier League spenders over the summer having splashed around £150 million on six new players, including a British record transfer for Angel di Maria and a late loan swoop for Radamel Falcao of Monaco.
Now with the window closed, Van Gaal will go in search of his first competitive win as Manchester United boss with his squad rejuvenated, and Woodward, who announced record revenue levels of 433.2 million for the previous financial year, believes that a top three finish should be possible given the investment.
'We assume third in our budgets,' he told investors in a conference call according to the Daily Mail.
Manchester United have spent well in excess of £200 million over the past three transfer windows, bringing in the likes of Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini alongside their new batch of stars, and while Woodward insisted that while major signings won't be made, Van Gaal will be allowed to add to his squad in the new year.
"We don't intend to significantly increase capital expenditure (by buying players) in January," he explained.
'We will continue to monitor in association with Louis his view of the squad and which areas we want to strengthen and which areas we want to sell.
'I wouldn't have expectations for January but if there is a willingness from the manager, we will engage with him and if there is an opportunity, we will try and take that as we did last year with Juan Mata.'
That news is likely to excite Manchester United fans who welcomed the summer signings but remain anxious over a lack of options in key areas. Van Gaal seemingly wanted to add numbers at the heart of defence having lost Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, but failed to land top target Mats Hummels, while he didn't add the midfielder he coveted most, Arturo Vidal, either.
Reports over the weekend suggested that Vidal and Hummels will be targeted once more in the new year, while Sami Khedira of Real Madrid is also an option. It was suggested that Mata, who cost close to £40 million last January, could be sold in order to help finance some of those moves, while Van Gaal would be given £50 million to top up his available cash.