Ed Woodward, speaking Tuesday on an earning's call with investors after United reported a 10 per cent revenue drop at the start of the season, said the club will adopt a prudent approach to spending in the January window.
"We are not looking to enter the market for short-term fixes," Woodward said. "However, we have targets that we are looking at for next summer. Should any of them become available in January, which is obviously rare, we will consider acting. But I think in terms of expectation-setting, we all need to recognize that is a low probability."
United finished seventh in the Premier League following the retirement of manager Alex Ferguson, leading to the dismissal of David Moyes after only 10 months. He was replaced by Louis van Gaal.
Without European football, revenue at United fell 10 per cent year-on-year to 88.7 million pounds ($139 million) in the first quarter of 2014-15, covering July to September.
United spent more than $200 million in the off-season, including a British record fee of 59.7 million pounds (then $99 million) on Argentina midfielder Angel Di Maria from Real Madrid.
Although Van Gaal's team is already 13 points behind Premier League leader Chelsea in seventh place this season, it is only two points from the fourth Champions League place with more than two-thirds of the season remaining.
United does have 90.3 million pounds ($141 million) in cash reserves and, with wages falling, recorded a profit of 8.9 million pounds ($13.9 million) in the first quarter after a slight loss the previous year.
"There is a real feeling at the club that we are at the start of something special," Woodward said. "While we are still evolving as a team, it is clear ... the team is heading in the right direction."