This transfer window has been a slow one for Manchester United so far. No signings have been made, and even the rumour mill is pretty uninspired.
Unfortunately, we cannot say we were not warned. Ed Woodward spoke in a concerned manner in April about the effect of the global pandemic on finances.
Woodward was quoted by The Guardian telling a United fan forum conference call: “Nobody should be under any illusions about the scale of challenge facing everyone in football and it may not be ‘business as usual’ for any clubs, including ourselves, in the transfer market this summer.
“I cannot help feeling that speculation around transfers of individual players for hundreds of millions of pounds this summer seems to ignore the realities that face the sport.”
At the time it was uncertain if this was Woodward merely playing lip service to the effect of the damaging situation caused by the suspension of fans attending games, or not.
So far there has just been one real mega-deal, Napoli signing Victor Osimhen for a fee worth £73 million (BBC).
The biggest Premier League deal so far has been Chelsea’s £53 million move for Timo Werner, and with the Blues banned from spending over the last two transfer window, they have had cash saved up.
Bigger deals will likely come in due course, possibly Manchester United’s eventual move for Jadon Sancho.
So far United have been reluctant to commit to paying the £108 million Dortmund want for the winger, despite an acceptance from the German club to receive a fee in installments (BILD).
United are typically slow
Woodward’s comments are not the only factor which has prepared fans for a slow start to the window.
United have been lethargically slow paced in recent windows and this is not new.
However with extra months to prepare and United ticking off the box of achieving Champions League qualification, fans had hope that this time would be different.
That’s what makes it frustrating each time to see United enter the window looking ill-prepared and indecisive, while other clubs sign players.
Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal and even Tottenham have recruited new signings so far.
By time deadline passes on October 5 we will eventually be able to take a clear picture of United’s activity, and whether Woodward was bluffing all along, including now.
As it stands, the concern expressed by Woodward back in April looks well-founded, as much as we hate it to be the case, even if it is a convenient excuse from the club’s ownership not to invest.
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