Manchester United Doesn't Have Enough Cash to Expand Old Trafford as Spending Spree Continues

Manchester United are set to shelve plans to increase the capacity of Old Trafford to 88,000 in order to back Jose Mourinho in the transfer market next summer.

United's long-held plans to expand the 75-000-seater stadium are under review but may now be delayed as Mourinho looks to continue the club's ascent back toward the top of English football.

Mourinho's team is second in the Premier League table, 13 points behind neighbors and rivals Manchester City, having made significant improvements on the past four seasons.

United has spent heavily in the transfer market and will continue to do so by delaying the plans to expand Old Trafford which were intended to improve atmosphere, according to the Daily Mail.

In January, United signed Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal as part of a swap deal with Henrikh Mkhitaryan, but they are believed to be paying the Chilean forward wages of around £500,000-a-week.

Sanchez became the latest so-called superstar to move to Old Trafford in the past few seasons. Last summer, Romelu Lukaku became the most expensive striker in the Premier League when he joined United from Everton for £75 million.

Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford, Manchester, February 25. Manchester United are set to shelve plans to increase Old Trafford's capacity in order to back Mourinho in the transfer market. Clive Brunskill/Getty

The summer before, in 2016, Manchester United set a new world transfer record when they paid £90 million to bring Paul Pogba back to the north-west of England. The French midfielder had been developed through the club's academy and joined Juventus in 2012 where he won four Italian league titles.

Mourinho has spent in excess of £300 million in less than two years as Manchester United manager, and that looks likely to continue when the transfer window reopens this summer.

However, Mourinho may be disappointed to see that come at the expense of OId Trafford being expanded as he has been rather critical of the atmosphere in the Premier League's biggest club stadium.

Speaking last month following a 2-0 home win over Huddersfield Town, Mourinho compared the "quiet" stadium to that of Portsmouth's rickety Fratton Park.

"It's not Portsmouth," he said. "I remember Portsmouth—such a small stadium, the atmosphere was absolutely incredible. In here, the atmosphere is a bit quiet and there is not very (much enthusiasm). But the players like to play at home."

The proposed addition to Old Trafford would likely be to the Sir Bobby Charlton Stand and providing around 7,500 more seats to the stadium. It would then be behind only Barcelona's Camp Nou—99,000 seats—as the biggest in Europe.