The club are understood to have a fundamental budget of between £50-60 million, but could find more if it meant landing a priority target.
Speaking on the Everything is Black and White podcast, Waugh said: “The way United do transfers, my understanding of it, is although there is a sort of budget for this summer – about £50m or £60m – that’s the money they currently have available, but sources maintain that for the ‘right player’, maybe more money will become available.
“This in in terms of where they will look to do a deal where maybe they will pay upfront or over time, so if enough players under the age of 25 or with the right sell-on value become available, the parameters of that budget may become a bit more flexible.”
On the face of it, this sounds fairly positive. It would certainly seem to suggest, at least, that the Magpies are willing to spend, and that they are open to investing large amounts of money this summer. That being said, what exactly constitutes the “right player”? It’s a very subjective term, and the wooly nature of it surely means that the club can get away with saying they have all this money, but refusing to commit it to any real investment. That wouldn’t be a particularly huge surprise given Mike Ashley’s track record. This is a man who only broke the club’s transfer record in January after having allowed it to stand since 2005 – two years before his tenure began. Only four times in 12 years has he spent more than £15 million on a player [Transfermarkt], and his general unwillingness to invest means that for all of the talk about war chests and flexibility, fans won’t be holding out much hope.