United host LASK Linz in their round-of-16 second leg on Wednesday before a probable trip to Cologne to take on Copenhagen or Istanbul Basaksehir in the quarter-finals.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is bidding to end United’s trophy drought that has extended beyond three years but the resumption of the Europa League also coincides with the summer transfer window.
United are yet to make a formal offer for Jadon Sancho, back training with Borussia Dortmund this week, and the summer window closes in nine weeks’ time. Sancho reported at Dortmund’s training ground for a medical over the weekend.
Woodward and the head of corporate development Matt Judge – tasked with negotiating transfers – attended a recruitment meeting last month after United’s summer plans were delayed by the lockdown.
The MEN understands United attempted to set up the framework of a £65million deal for Jack Grealish in February but Aston Villa avoided relegation and are believed to now be demanding £80m for their captain.
Former Birmingham midfielder Jude Bellingham rejected United in favour of joining Dortmund, having met Woodward and Judge at Carrington in March with his parents.
United are open to recruiting a centre-back but accept they must reduce an already bloated department, with Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, and Marcos Rojo free to leave permanently before the window shuts.
Smalling’s season-long loan with Roma has ended now the Serie A season is over and if Roma are to retain him for their Europa League restart they would have to finalise another long-term loan or sign Smalling permanently. It is understood neither a sale or a new loan are imminent, although Roma do want to buy Smalling.
The transfer window closes on October 5 and the new Premier League campaign starts on September 12 – 22 days after the Europa League final.