As rivals strengthen, pressure is growing on Manchester United’s board to show their hand in the transfer market.
One transfer, albeit for a top level talent like Donny van de Beek, is just not enough.
United finished 33 points behind Liverpool last season in the Premier League.
Now a deal to bring Thiago Alcantara to Anfield is almost done, with The Mail reporting a fee has been agreed with Bayern.
United were linked to Thiago by ESPN, but it always felt like Liverpool was his most likely destination.
He is a top level signing who would have helped United to close the gap. Instead the gulf between the two teams looks more likely to grow.
Missing out on Thiago is one thing. Not having a plan to respond is another, and this is the fear.
What exactly is United’s plan?
United have been locked in a stalemate with Borussia Dortmund over a deal for Jadon Sancho this summer.
BBC Sport reported this week Dortmund are confident Sancho will stay at the club.
United’s ‘hail mary’ back-up plan to try and sign Gareth Bale is gone. Sky Sports reports he is on the verge of a return back to Tottenham.
Missing out on two ageing players with injury histories like Bale and Thiago may turn out to be a blessing in disguise.
Neither fit the long-term criteria of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s other signings.
But United do need to do something. This is a time when United need to show some direction.
Where is the plan? What is the club’s next move? Is there money available?
It is time to put up over Sancho and get the deal done. And if that just is not possible, then United need to move on decisively and use whatever money is available, to strengthen.
United’s poker face is becoming easier for clubs to read. It’s time for United to show their hand, and make their move.
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