When Manchester United crashed out of the Champions League at the hands of RB Leipzig, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's job looked to be hanging by a thread.
Three defeats in their opening five Premier League home games had already piled pressure on the Norwegian and another campaign in the Europa League was the final straw for even some of his biggest supporters.
But, as he has for the entirety of his tenure, United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward backed his man, claiming he was happy with the progress being made at the club.
"We recognise there's more hard work ahead to achieve the consistency needed to win trophies," he said in a virtual fans' meeting this month. "But we see positive signs on the pitch and the training ground that reinforce our belief in the progress being made by Ole, his coaching team and the players."
A battling draw with Manchester City has eased some of the pressure ahead of a pivotal fixture schedule.
But Woodward already has his sights well beyond Christmas 2020, with thoughts already turning to the next two transfer windows.
"We will continue to support Ole with a planned, long-term approach to recruitment, focused on the summer windows," he added.
Manchester Evening News have now reported that Old Trafford bosses have already identified a list of targets that Solskjaer is keen on signing.
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The report claims the United boss has earmarked a right-back, a winger, a central defender and a defensive midfielder – with Declan Rice, Solskjaer's preferred target.
However, Woodward & Co. have labelled the January window as "fool's gold" and will instead wait until the end of the season to back Solskjaer in the market.
Mauricio Pochettino has been continually touted as a potential replacement for Solskjaer, but on current evidence, Woodward has no intention of reneging on his commitment to his manager.
Plans are in place for the next two Red Devils transfer windows and all signs point towards the fact that the man in the dugout will remain the same throughout 2021…at least.
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