Manchester United walked away from a potential deal for Moises Caicedo over the weekend.
In a report from the MEN, the reason cited was that a deal was proving too complex, with various agents inserting themselves in discussions. United lost patience and walked away.
The MEN had previously claimed United were determined to sign Caicedo as part of a shifting transfer strategy to target young players. Just last week South American football expert Tim Vickery told Sky Sports that United were ‘locked in’ over Caicedo.
Caicedo has been strongly linked with signing for Brighton instead, The Mail report.
There does not appear much hope of United making a U-turn here. And that’s the club’s prerogative. But there are questions to be asked.
Could the complexities not have been sorted out?
There are almost 20 days left of the transfer window, and not two. Surely with a bit more desire, United could have sorted out the wrangling.
You could ask ‘why are Brighton able to get a deal done, and United not?’, and this might seem like a fair question.
But other clubs will have differing philosophies with regards to agents, and the demands of Brighton might not be the same as Caicedo’s club and representatives were seeking from United.
It appears in this case, United simply didn’t want Caicedo badly enough.
Will United move for another midfielder instead?
It appears increasingly likely United will not conduct any incoming transfers during this window.
Caicedo seemed possible as he would have been a low-cost gamble on a young talent who could kick on. It doesn’t currently appear United are tracking any similar names.
United’s upcoming transfer business is most likely to revolve around outgoings.
Perhaps there may be a late deal if an interesting opportunity arises, but it does not seem like it is a simple case of moving from ‘Target A’ to ‘Target B’.
Is it possible United regret this?
Very much so. One of the reasons United supporters became so enthused about the possibility of signing Caicedo was his high quality and bargain price.
The teenager is already a full Ecuador international with one goal and three assists in four games. Tim Vickery told Sky Sports last week that Caicedo is already a more well rounded player than Ngolo Kante.
United can continue to track Caicedo and sign him in the future, at possibly five or six times the price. Perhaps how much United spend shouldn’t be a principle concern, if it means he will be better equipped to succeed in three years time than if he arrived now – but it would seem like bad business.
If Caicedo does, as expected, go on to star at World Cup 2022, he could make United look silly. In the here and now, the club don’t need him due to a multitude of midfield options.
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