Around a month ago I wrote about how United were at risk of undoing all their good work through lockdown unless moves were made to back the manager, strengthen the squad and sell off some of his unwanted players. Well, here we are a little over three days from deadline (at time of writing) and so far only Donny van de Beek has been added whilst only Andreas Perreira has been moved on. Meanwhile, Liverpool, who won the title at a canter, have added three, as have Manchester City. Chelsea have bought half a team, whilst Spurs, Everton and Arsenal have all significantly strengthened their squads.
Most of us are not naïve enough to believe every rumour, there’s literally hundreds every window, but it still makes for grim viewing. The pursuit of Jadon Sancho has done exactly what I feared it might do and ground our entire window to a halt. For the last year the club has been briefing that a right winger was the top priority and Sancho was the top target in that position. Yet here we are with no sign of Sancho arriving or any indication of an alternative on the horizon, whilst an apparent deal for Alex Telles also appears to have stalled. In any serious business this level of incompetence would have seen those at the top handed their P45s long before now, instead they continue in their roles.
One reason given for this is how good they are at making money for the club. But in an climate without fans in stadiums, they are also failing to generate any money through player sales with the likes of Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones, Diogo Dalot and arguably Jesse Lingard all still on the books, mainly down to the huge new contracts many were awarded to maintain market value” By contrast in the last three years Liverpool have generated over £160m in sales from the likes of Ibe, Solanke, Lovren, Brewster, Hoever. Can you name me any other business where this level of gross mismanagement at the top level would be continually tolerated?
In the opinion of this writer, these next few days will end one of two ways. Either the club will pay the asking prices fro Sancho and Telles, calling into question the wait to allow Ole to work with them or we end the summer with just the one new arrival and the club, in a vain and transparent attempt to placate supporters, begins briefing for the third summer running that it is resuming the search for the Director of Football role it has no interest in creating.
Maybe, sometime this season, I, or Stretty News, will have something positive to tell you.