There has been a sense of unease and familiar mistakes repeating themselves at Manchester United this summer.
While top six rivals have been identifying targets and securing them with a minimum of fuss, United haven’t signed a senior player yet.
The high-profile pursuit of Jadon Sancho has so far been fruitless and there don’t seem to be many other irons in the fire.
Amid that backdrop, the club have made a direct response to journalist Phil Brown of Beyond The Pitch (BTP) about their plans for the current window. Here is what they had to say…
- Manchester United has been consistent in its position regarding recruitment since the start of the Covid crisis.
- The club points out it remains committed to supporting the manager in strengthening the squad over the long term.
- The club points out this summer’s transfer window will not be ‘business as usual’ because of the huge economic impact of the pandemic, both in terms of immediate loss of revenue and uncertainty over the long-term impact of the crisis.
- United’s point of view is that these harsh economic realities means the club must be cautious this summer to ensure that the club preserves its strength over this difficult period.
Does the statement wash?
The first thing to say is that United do deserve credit for directly engaging with criticism.
That said, their statement and approach to the transfer window still doesn’t make much sense.
Every fan understands that the pandemic has created a new economic reality.
If that had meant plans to sign Sancho at a British record price had to be shelved for a season, it would be understandable.
But it doesn’t make sense to spend weeks chasing that deal when the equation is simple; pay the money and Sancho is ours, don’t and he isn’t.
This decision should have been made far in advance of the transfer window, and other signings concentrated on.
There still do not appear to be any moves for cheaper viable alternatives in the pipeline either at present.
There are other ways to approach the window. Chelsea have activated the release clauses of Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner early, Manchester City have targeted a relegated club and one with financial issues in Bournemouth and Valencia.
Daniel Levy has organised a great deal for Tottenham on Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and even Arsenal have their ducks in a row.
United have said it isn’t ‘business as usual’ this summer, but so far it has been, in terms of failings repeating themselves in the transfer market.
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