Manchester United still owe more than £100million in transfer fees, but the club are only operating by the same rules as the rest of the big clubs.
And United insist the transfer debt will have no impact on their January window business activity.
Financial figures released by the club showed they owed a stunning £258m on previous signings at the end of June.
That is because, like most of their rivals, majority of transfers see payments staged by clubs over the length of the new deal signed by the player being sold.
It means that the full £89m fee for Paul Pogba’s return to United from Juventus was not paid up front but will be split over the five years of his initial contract at the club.
United have spent a total £560m on transfers over the past four years, although they have recouped £196m of that in sales.
But although United did owe a huge amount at the end of last campaign, things have now changed.
In their latest accounts, for the first quarter of the new financial year, that debt had been reduced to £129m.
Manchester United were also owed £26m from other clubs in September, which means a net transfer debt of £103m.
Given United’s revenues in the three months to September were £135m, a figure likely to be exceeded in the second quarter of the year, the club are insistent that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will not be forced to sell in order to buy any players.
United also maintain that transfer activity this month will be entirely determined by the needs of the first team and that sufficient funds are in place if needed.
Selling clubs who want fast access to transfer fees sometimes borrow money from banks and use future instalments they are due to receive as security for the loan.
Everton did this when they sold Lukaku to United and Stones to Manchester City.
In both cases, United and City were authorised to pay the instalments direct to the bank, Santander, when they fell due.
Leicester did the same in relation to the £60m sale of Riyad Mahrez to Manchester City last summer.