Signing Bruno Fernandes was a big win for Manchester United in the transfer window.

But one report in the Evening Standard after the deadline passed, suggested the knock-on effects of the transfer may be felt in a few months.

The report claims the £46.5 million fee paid to Sporting, will come out of United’s summer transfer budget.

Taking the report at face value, this is frustrating to hear.

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Should have been from last year’s budget

This was a transfer United should have conducted last summer, when United chose to sign no midfielders.

After a difficult few months chopping and changing between Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, and Andreas Pereira, United realised it was time to take the plunge and sign Fernandes.

Last summer United spent £147 million on Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Dan James.

It was a high amount, but then money was recouped from selling Romelu Lukaku for £74 million, with Matteo Darmian sold for £1.4 million.

That put United’s net spend at £71.6 million last summer. This is a small figure for a club of United’s size in this market, attempting a large scale rebuild.

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This coming summer

The Evening Standard‘s report says United expect to sign three players this summer, rather than stepping recruitment up a notch.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is quoted: “It won’t be six or seven coming in definitely. It will be a similar window [to last summer].”

The report adds Paul Pogba may have to be sold if United really want a big transfer budget.

All of this can come more sharply into focus nearer the time, but it really does appear that United are far from flush with cash.

United can still afford big transfer fees, but the club won’t be going crazy, and there will be a budget to work with.

If £46.5 million really has been taken out of it, then United’s task in the summer won’t be easy.

Expect more long, drawn out negotiations to get the players we want, while some may prove off the table completely if they are too expensive.

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