Manchester United Transfer News: £100 Million Fund Is David Moyes' Biggest Test

Rory MarsdenFeatured ColumnistFebruary 14, 2014

Manchester United's manager David Moyes gestures to his team during their English Premier League soccer match between Arsenal and Manchester United at the Emirates stadium in London, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Alastair Grant/Associated Press

David Moyes has had a tough start to his career in charge of Manchester United but his biggest test is yet to come, when the summer transfer window arrives.

On Thursday it was reported by Mark Ogden in The Daily Telegraph that the club’s owners, the Glazers, have promised at least £100 million to strengthen the side in the summer.

And Manchester United executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, was quoted in the same Telegraph article saying:

It’s fair to say we are focused on strengthening the squad.

We wouldn’t necessarily be looking to churn a huge number of players because that can have a destabilising effect, but we aren’t afraid of moving in the market in a way that perhaps we haven’t seen in recent years.

Historically we’ve had three sales and three purchases each year and it’s possible we’ll do more than that. We will continue to nurture and develop young, talented players and bring them into the first team when ready.

But we will also invest in our squad as needed in order to ensure we are competing at the highest level.

Wednesday's 0-0 draw with Arsenal saw United fall 11 points behind Liverpool in fourth, increasing the prospect of United missing out on Champions League qualification for the first time in 19 years.

However, the blame for a poor season cannot lie squarely on Moyes' shoulders, but on the players and on Sir Alex Ferguson for leaving a relatively mediocre squad for his successor. 

Alastair Grant/Associated Press

That will not be true of next season.

With £100m to spend and an opportunity to mould his own squad of players, what he does in the transfer window is a greater test than any Moyes has faced so far.

His two big signings since taking over have been Marouane Fellaini from Everton for £27.5 million last summer, and January's £37.1 million signing of Juan Mata from Chelsea, of those Mata looks by far the better signing.

Jon Super/Associated Press

Good news then for United fans that transfer targets are improving but Moyes must now work out who to bring in—and who to ship out—to return Manchester United to their former glories. 

The likes of Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck and Mata make United strong up front and David de Gea has been a big positive between the posts.

However, the likes of Tom Cleverley and Antonio Valencia have come have come under fire recently, and it is clear that the centre of midfield is in dire need of strengthening. 

Moyes is reportedly interested in Juventus duo Paul Pogba and Arturo Vidal, though the latter is unlikely reports the Daily Mail:

Pogba would be an ideal signing, the type of player who can run a game from the midfield and work in both attack and defence with another potential target being Bayern Munich's Toni Kroos. 

Elsewhere, United have conceded 31 goals already this season - compared with 43 in all of last season - and with the talismanic Nemanja Vidic on his way out in the summer the defence will need rebuilding.

Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra are getting on in years and the progress Chris Smalling and Phil Jones showed early on in their United careers seems to have stalled somewhat. 

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 12:  Rio Ferdinand of Manchester United holds off the challenge of Mesut Ozil of Arsenal challenge for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium on February 1
Michael Regan/Getty Images

A complete defensive rebuild is required and Moyes would do well to look to the Premier League for targets in the shape of Everton's Seamus Coleman and Southampton's Luke Shaw, both very impressive this season.

The 2013-14 campaign was always going to be a struggle for United after Sir Alex's retirement, but many have been shocked with just how poor they have been with eight league losses and failure in both domestic cup competitions.

However, Moyes cannot be said to have failed just yet. He needs to build his own team and he is to be given the resources to do that.