Saul Niguez is available on loan. A player Manchester United have tracked since 2012.

And yet there is still some uncertainty at the club, with a lack of funds blamed.

The Times reports Saul’s £200,000 per week wages are a ‘complication’, while Forbes report United may need to get Jesse Lingard off the wage bill in order to do a deal.

These excuses pleading poverty don’t really cut it, not at a club which wastes too much money, even with recent decisions.

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A player worth paying for

No doubt United have been severely impacted by the pandemic, more so than other clubs.

United have bought smartly in two positions this summer, signing Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane for sensible fees, far less than they would have gone for a year ago.

Much of the excitement over the duo has gone, with neither player yet fit enough to start a game, much to the frustration of supporters.

Saul would be a high quality addition to United’s midfield, a position where it has been glaringly obvious reinforcements would be needed.

The Spaniard represents a risk-free option on loan too. United would be mistaken not to take up the move.

Poor decisions from United increase costs

United took the decision earlier this summer to extend the contracts of both Juan Mata and Lee Grant.

Grant is currently fourth choice goalkeeper, a role which could be performed by an academy player.

Mata’s best days are behind him, and whatever positive impact he may have on the dressing room, his wages are excessive in comparison to the on-pitch value he provides.

 

If United can afford to extend deals for these two, then pleading poverty and claiming there is not enough wages to cover Saul’s salary just doesn’t cut it.

United may have been counting on selling more players, but after last summer’s lack of success, this situation should have been obvious.

One of the main reasons United cannot sell, is because of poor decisions to give under-performing players high salaries, like Phil Jones and Andreas Pereira.

Glazer priorities clear

Club co-owner Joel Glazer claimed to want to put United first and prove his commitment to the club earlier this summer.

But the family’s true intentions showed as they collected their quarterly dividends in June, with United paying out £10.7 million to investors, of which the Glazers collected £8 million.

If the Glazers really wanted to prove a point to supporters, they would be skipping these after the events of earlier this year.

This kind of money could be the difference between signing Saul Niguez or not, and given United’s need for a midfielder, could end up being the difference when it comes to silverware or more failure.

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Big offer elsewhere can’t be ruled out

United’s supposed lack of funds could simply be a ruse, heading into the final days of the transfer window.

And in that case, well played, if it leads to United putting in a big, successful offer for a Ruben Neves or Yves Bissouma. A move like that would change United’s summer, and season ahead.

It wouldn’t undo the fact poor decisions were still made along the way.

Mata and Grant do seem like unnecessary excesses in terms of wages, with lessons not learned from previous years.

The Glazers should not be taking dividends out regardless, with the club more than £440 million in debt, a figure which grows every year.

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