Have Arsenal and Manchester United set their sights too high this summer?

They might be two of the biggest clubs in the Premier League, but Manchester United and Arsenal are both struggling to sign their targets this summer.

Considering their recent history, it is difficult to see how Manchester United could set their sights too high in the transfer market, but the recent speculation linking them with Gareth Bale and Cesc Fabregas seems to have put them in the hunt for players they are unlikely to be able to sign this summer.

Similarly Arsenal’s striker hunt this transfer window has seen them reportedly target Gonzalo Higuain, Stevan Jovetic, Wayne Rooney and Luis Suarez. Of the four, the Liverpool player is still very much on their radar, but considering Liverpool have already rejected a £40million bid, it looks unlikely they will be signing Suarez.

Clearly both have excellent teams already, and so attempting to improve them requires aiming for the very best players around, but both Arsenal and Manchester United have given themselves too much to do in chasing superstar individuals.

This means that even if they managed to sign say, Luis Suarez and Cesc Fabregas respectively, it will likely take the whole summer, giving them less time to focus on any other targets and having to work right up to the deadline.

Also they could very easily end up missing out on those players, meaning they have to switch targets late in the window, disrupting the start of their season and seeing them playing there first few games without a settled side in place.

It is also bad for the image of the biggest clubs to miss out on players they have clearly targeted, and this could be particularly true of Manchester United and Fabregas. Following Sir Alex Ferguson was never going to be easy, but it could be made far worse for David Moyes if he spends his first window trying and failing to sign Fabregas.

Both teams could have learned from Manchester City’s approach this summer, with the Premier League runners up identifying a series of attainable targets, and moving quickly to seal the deal in each case. Isco was perhaps the only man they missed out on, but it is understandable that the youngster wanted to stay in Spain.

Both Arsenal and Manchester United fans might also wonder why their teams did not pursue Paulinho, who went to Tottenham Hotspur for around £17million, and looks a good fit for either side. If Spurs complete a move for Roberto Soldado too, for a fee substantially less than what Arsenal have already bid for Suarez, then more questions could be asked by Gunners’ fans.

This could all change if Manchester United and Arsenal sign a superstar apiece, but they could end up with two weeks left of the window and no substantial signings made, simply because they set their sights too high.

image: © ins11thiago

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