The club has spent almost £60million so far this summer on three players – Sven Botman, Nick Pope and Matt Targett.
However, that spend – and January’s £90million-plus investment – mean that the club has little room for manoeuvre due to the Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability rules.
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Howe today issued a transfer update ahead of tomorrow’s Premier League season-opener against Nottingham Forest.
United’s head coach went on to stress that the club, now 90%-owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, can’t invest what it likes in the transfer window.
"Financial Fair Play impacts us – and will continue to impact us, I think, for a number of years,” said Howe. “We haven't got the free rein, the free hand, that maybe has been perceived within the media, that we can go and sign who we want and pay extortionate fees and wages.
"We're not in that position – and I don't think we will be for some period of time. We're having to be creative and smart, and try and make the right additions within the financial constraints that we have."
Howe wants to sign two attacking players before the transfer deadline.
Asked if he was a striker short following the departure of Dwight Gayle, Howe said: “We’re in a position where any player gets injured – and it stretches us. We have players who can cover. Maxi (Allan Saint-Maximin), Joelinton, (Jacob) Murphy have played that role. Yes, it would be a concern for an injury in that area.”