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Woodward highlights 'exciting youth acquisitions' to Man Utd shareholders: We were linked with 111 players

Manchester United vice-chairman Ed Woodward was eager to highlight the youth signings the club has made in recent months in a conference call to shareholders today.

United expect revenue to be between £560m and £580m for the year, down on last year's record £627.1m. Across town City, recently banned from the Champions League, think they will bring in £560m.

Speaking to investors, Woodward declared that United's "number one priority" is "winning trophies with a team playing entertaining, attacking football".

He said: "This season is one of rebuild, with many changes to the squad – in terms of players who have left or gone out on loan; new players who we have brought into the Club; and Academy graduates that we have brought through to the first team."

He also joked that the club had been linked with 111 players in the previous transfer window.

"Our acquisition of just one of them - Bruno Fernandes - is an important step in that direction.

"Demonstrating our commitment to adding experienced, world-class recruits to the exciting crop of Academy graduates that are at the heart of this developing team. We will take the same planned, disciplined, approach this coming summer."

Woodward also praised the role played by the club's academy.

"In addition to the first team signings, somewhat under the radar, we have also made a number of exciting youth acquisitions in the past year, reflecting our commitment to bringing the best talent into our Academy," he said.

"So far our Academy graduates have contributed over a third of first team playing minutes this season and over half of our goals emphasizing our Academy's status as one of the most productive in elite-level European football."

Woodward acknowledged that United still have some way to go to reach previous heights.

"While we still have much to do, we are progressing with confidence in the right direction," he concluded.

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Paul Vegas

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