Three and half weeks after the final whistle on the final day of the season and Manchester United have still not signed anyone.
The summer transfer window opened on the 16th May and still no sign of any new recruits.
Speculation has been at an all-time high as well over 60 players have linked to the club in that short period.
Ranging from the sublime, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, to the ridiculous, Mohammad Salah.
How can anyone really know what is fact when so much is absolute fiction?
NEXT: James Maddison in no rush to leave Leicester amid Man Utd interest, claims Guardian journalist
United always seem to get dragged into a transfer saga and Ajax’s Matthijs de Ligt is the latest man to involved.
Destined for Barcelona but it seems The Reds name is being used to get more money out of the Catalans.
His agent, Mino Raiola, has previous with this type of tactic and it seems unlikely that De Ligt would choose United right now.
Of course I hope I am wrong but if the reported wage United have offered is true then are we looking at another Alexis Sanchez situation?
The Chileans earning figures have clearly caused a problem when negotiating new deals with existing players.
Marcus Rashford and David De Gea are examples of players yet to put pen to paper.
Reports have suggested they want something close or in line with what Sanchez is being paid. Whether that’s true or not it seems obvious that a precedent has been set.
Other players strongly linked to United will be participating in the upcoming UEFA Nations League.
Along with Di Ligt, Reuben Dias, Bruno Fernandes, Joao Felix, Harry Maguire and Declan Rice are all featuring.
Any transfer activity could depend on the end of this tournament.
Sky Sports were reporting (for what thats worth) that United were interested in Daniel James, Ryan Sessegnon, Sean Longstaff and James Maddison.
Young British players that could help form a change in direction to a hungry set of men replacing the current old guard.
That, of course, is in direct conflict with other rumours reporting that Antoine Griezmann Paulo Dybala and Gareth Bale are on our radar. Go figure.
Is it a mixture of both or is one more truthful than the other?
The club’s first signing with give us more of an indication of the direction we are heading in.
As I said in a previous article, we all have opinions on what positions need improving but that means nothing in the grand scheme of things. Nothing will be ultimately solved in one transfer window but it would be nice if United took a step in the right direction and tried a much-needed overhaul.
Other rumours of a director of football have faded away and whether that is influencing our transfer policy who knows?
An interesting interview with Louis van Gaal, published by the Guardian yesterday, revealed a few things about the way the club handles its transfer business. He said: “I didn’t always get the players that I want. That’s the problem. There is Woodward and his right hand is [head of corporate development] Matt Judge. Judge I met once in a while but not too much. And there was the head of scouting. That was the structure but you are always dependent on Woodward and Judge.”
He added in the same interview when asked ‘Did they take your advice?’
“I thought always Manchester United can buy every player because they have a lot of power. Seemingly a few players were not reachable for Manchester United. I cannot understand but it was like that.”
I think that almost confirms all United fans fears of the current regime at the club.
Whatever you thought of Louis van Gaal he was a very experienced and successful manager at big clubs in Europe. He understands how a club is supposed to run. I don’t think the issue is necessary that United have not spent enough it’s that we have not moved on the players that are not good enough.
For all the speculation about who is coming in, there has been very little on lesser squad players leaving.
I’m not talking about Pogba, Lukaku and De Gea who there is constant rumours about.
I’m talking about Rojo, Pereira, Darmian and even though they have signed new contracts Smalling, Jones and Young.
No one wants these players. We can’t get rid of these players and that is a damning indictment of our current situation.
We can’t get rid of our squad players because they are deemed by other premier league teams to be not good enough.
Of course, the player’s wage may play into this but United had an opportunity to close that chapter of mediocrity and let Smalling, Jones and Young leave when their contract ran out. Cut your losses and move on.
But no and here we are in the quagmire we have made for ourselves. Stuck in a terrible past that the club can’t escape.
After all that though, let’s try and look on the bright side.
Let’s hope we can do some business that makes us excited. Whatever the likelihood, the signing of Di Ligt, a genuine leader of undoubted ability, would lift the gloom significantly.
The only worry would be that at international level he has Virgil van Dijk to guide him and Daly Blind at Ajax. Victor Lindelof would be a good defensive partner but maybe lacks the experience De Ligt would need. We will see.
If United added Aaron Wan-Bissaka then I think we are looking at a much needed upgrade in our defence right away.
Getting just those two players alone would give me a lot more faith in the project we are trying to construct for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Of course, we will need more than that to challenge on any front but any good squad is built on strong foundations from the defence.
Let’s wait and see what happens from now on in. What has been frustrating up until now could turn in to something really exciting with some new players.
The squad, the club and the fans need to be energised again.
Ed, it’s over to you…..