Fans chief questions United clout

Manchester United‘s decision to end their interest in teenager Adem Ljajic has prompted concerns over the club’s clout in the transfer market.

Ljajic had been lined up for a potential move to Old Trafford next year but United, with a wealth of midfield talent available to them already, are not taking up the option to sign the Partizan Belgrade player.

However Manchester United Supporters’ Trust chief executive Duncan Drasdo has responded to the news by questioning how much spending power United have at their disposal.

Drasdo said: “Whatever the reason for the Ljajic deal falling through the fact is with the revenues flowing into the club Manchester United should be competing with Real Madrid and Barcelona for players of the calibre of Messi and Kaka but instead we have to carry the deadweight of the Glazers’ ownership on our backs.

“It is no coincidence that the ownership model of Madrid and Barca is one of supporter ownership where every penny is reinvested back into the club rather than being siphoned off and that is why MUST sees supporter ownership as our long-term objective.

“The true picture will not be clear until after the January transfer window but with the £80m Ronaldo transfer fee plus the supposed £25-30m annual transfer kitty a spend of £100m would effectively be break-even and supporters will rightly be asking where has the money gone when they’ve been forced to pay more and more through the huge ticket price rises in recent years.

“If that money isn’t reinvested in the club, judging by the more passionate views expressed by supporters, many will see it as little better than theft and feel entitled to demand ticket prices are slashed to pre-takeover levels.”

Earlier on Thursday a United spokesman, explaining the decision not to follow up on the initial interest in Ljajic, told the club’s website: “We had an option to buy the player but, having closely monitored his development over past 12 months, and taken into the consideration the young players emerging through the ranks, we have chosen not to pursue the transfer.”