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Manchester United and the struggle of the transfer window

Manchester United v Crystal Palace - Premier League : News Photo
Bruno Fernandes and Timothy Fosu-Mensah after United’s opening day defeat to Crystal Palace at Old Trafford

Manchester United have been all over social media this summer linking them to every player under the sun, as there is every summer. But now after the slow start to the season there is an even bigger uproar against the owners and Ed Woodward in particular to spend some money and back Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. But what is the real problem?

With Tottenham signing the likes of Gareth Bale and Sergio Reguillon and Chelsea purchasing Kai Havertz and Timo Werner, why have Manchester United not strengthened their already weak squad? Ed Woodward and co have a big job on their hands if they are looking to strengthen the team with Monday’s deadline looming large over their heads.

Manchester United have only secured one signing this summer, the Dutch playmaker, Donny Van de Beek from Ajax for around 40 million pounds.

Manchester United v Crystal Palace - Premier League : News Photo
Dutchman Donny Van de Beek, above, celebrating his goal against Crystal Palace

Van de Beek has impressed in his short stints for Manchester United claiming man of the match in the 3-0 win at Kenilworth Road against Luton in the Carabao Cup and a lovely backheel assist for Juan Mata for United’s second against Brighton on Wednesday night. Solskjaer says he sees value in Van de Beek and he is still bedding him into his already stacked midfield, could the Dutch international get his first start this Sunday.

Solskjaer speaking on Van de Beek said:

 “He can play loads of different positions, which sometimes is a strength for a player. I remember myself sometimes, right-wing, left-wing centre forward, No. 10 – Donny is one the coach will always look to have in a squad.

“Dutch football is tactical – he knows football, he’s got his head screwed on. He’s a different type of left-sided player compared to Dan James and Marcus Rashford, but coming inside and finding good pockets, why not?”

Brighton & Hove Albion v Manchester United - Premier League : News Photo
Donny Van de Beek was subbed on in the 3-2 victory at the Amex on Saturday Lunchtime

Now it’s less about the ins and more about the why haven’t they come ins that is the problem for many Manchester United fans over the entirety of the summer. After the campaign ended in Germany after a third semi-final defeat in a single season, the first team to ever record such a feat, fans had looked at the team and saw the obvious problem. The depth. In the semi final against Sevilla Ole Gunnar Solskjaer waited until the 87th minute before making a triple substitution, a potential cry to the board that he did not trust his players on the bench. A clear sign that something had to change.

There has been an ongoing love affair between Jadon Sancho and Manchester United all summer, with the former potentially staying at Dortmund with the deadline for transfers just over three days away. United were rumoured to have put in a £71m bid rising to £90m with potential add-ons which was apparently swatted away by Dortmund with them asking for £120m. This has been going on all summer, with many credible journalists such as Fabrizio Romano, Christian Falk and Jan Aage Fjortoft talking about the situation and keeping fans up to date on twitter. The three of them have reiterated many times over the entirety of the July, August and September that Jadon Sancho would not leave Borussia Dortmund for anything less than 120million euros (£108m).

Michael Zorc, Dortmund sporting director recently briefed the media and had this to say:

“Of course we communicated with Manchester United in the past. But everything there is to tell on this matter from our end has already been said. And that won’t change over the next three days”.

Borussia Dortmund Unveils New Signing Jadon Sancho : News Photo
Michael Zorc unveils £7m signing Jadon Sancho as a Borussia Dortmund player back on deadline day 2017

Most recently, after losing the battle to sign young Spanish full-back Sergio Reguillon to Spurs, Manchester United have been in continuous talks with Porto left-back Alex Telles. If reports were to be believed the clubs are in negotiations with Porto demanding around 15 million euros for the highly reputable Brazilian international however, United are only prepared to pay around 10 million. Alex Telles’ contract is up in the summer after he refused a new deal with the Portuguese champions this summer. There is a feeling amongst journalists on Twitter that Manchester United are prepared to wait till next season and give Luke Shaw one final season and allow Brando Williams to develop more.

FC Porto v SC Braga - Liga NOS : News Photo
Alex Telles playing for Porto against SC Braga

The question everyone is asking is why are Manchester United and Ed Woodward in particular not willing to spend the money and make Manchester United better on the pitch?

Manchester United v Southampton FC - Premier League : News Photo
Ed Woodward, top, watching United slump to a 1-3 home defeat to Palace at Old Trafford

It seems very infuriating for Manchester United fans all across the world when they see their rivals, who they were already miles behind strengthening over the summer. Arsenal signing Gabriel, Chelsea finalising deals for Kai Havertz, Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner, Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell, Liverpool signing Thiago and Diogo Jota, Ruben Dias, Ferran Torres and Nathan Ake joining Manchester City and finally Gareth Bale, Carlos Vinicius and Sergio Reguillon.

Chelsea v Barnsley - Carabao Cup Third Round : News Photo
Kai Havertz, above, collects his Match Ball after a Hat-Trick against Barnsley in the Carabao Cup

Gary Neville had a lot to say about United’s summer transfer window on twitter over the recent week, with the Former United captain having this to say:

“It’s appalling that in this market which is probably the easiest in PL history to get transfers done that United haven’t done more yet ! They must get Ole a CB , LB and Forward pre deadline! The others are managing to get things over the line why not United!”

This morning Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had his press conference ahead of the visit of Tottenham Hotspur this Sunday at Old Trafford. He was questioned about the lack and transfers coming into the club and the Monday deadline :

“Well, I’m not going to go into the transfer window now. Of course, all my focus is on Sunday’s game. The club is always working hard to strengthen the squad. If something happens – in or out – you’ll get to know.”

Solskjaer is always tight lipped when it comes to transfers and never discusses them with press . The signing of Bruno Fernandes was key to changing the Red Devil’s fortunes last season the creativity and leadership was enough to drag them to a 3rd place finish with them looking to build on that this season. The fans would of been expecting a title charge or at least a bridging of the gap to Liverpool and Manchester City. However, after only securing Donny Van de Beek the optimism of the United have quickly deteriorated with many thinking they will be lucky to get into the top four.

Manchester United face Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford this Sunday and will be aiming for their first win at Old Trafford this season building of last week’s crazy 3-2 win at the Amex against Brighton.

Brighton & Hove Albion v Manchester United - Premier League : News Photo
Bruno Fernandes slots in penalty after the final whistle at the Amex, Saturday Lunchtime

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was also asked about any potential injuries in the squad after Maguire missed the midweek game in the Cup :

“Harry [Maguire] had a little knock after the league game, I think a hole in his ankle, but he should be okay. I think, apart from that, we’re okay. There are no more injuries from the cup game.”

Manchester United come into the game on Sunday unbeaten since the opening day defeat, with 2 cup game wins and a win over Brighton to jumpstart their campaign.

Spurs on the other hand are unbeaten since their open day loss to Everton at White Hart Lane, however it will be Jose Mourinho’s sides 3rd game this week after visits from Chelsea in the cup and Maccabi Haifa in the Europa League to white hart lane earlier in the week.

Solskjaer has said many times the fitness of the squad is behind the rest of the league because of the mandatory 30 day break after the end of last season meaning United would miss the opening day of the season. This Sunday is a massive test for Ole’s men with a fatigued side coming to Old Trafford, Jose Mourinho on familiar ground will want to embarrass and get one over on his former side. These two have been going back and forth on each other in the last few weeks with sly remarks towards each other. They meet again at 4:30pm this Sunday.

United still have a few days until the end of the summer deadline and will potentially need to look into securing a striker in January when on loan man Odion Ighalo returns to China, perhaps United are waiting till the January transfer window to strengthen their squad. The clubs meet again in April but will the Manchester sides squad look any different to the one they filed on Sunday?

Who will come out on top in Sunday’s clash?

Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League : News Photo
Ole and Jose embrace after the game at Old Trafford last season

What do you think?