Are Manchester United 'playing second fiddle' to bigger clubs?

Barcelona V Madrid

Did losing out on Thiago Alcantara to Bayern Munich earlier this summer illustrate that they, along with Real Madrid and Barcelona demonstrate a 'pulling power' which Manchester United cannot?

Forget money for a moment or two. There must come a stage in a top footballers life when being paid an extra £10,000 whatever per week makes no difference and the actual club becomes more important.

The word 'earnings' is vastly overused. Footballers do not 'earn' anywhere near what they are paid.

Very few people in life actually 'earn' what they are paid and this works down the scale as well as up.

I am now reading that, assuming Gareth Bale goes to Real Madrid along with the fact that they have also signed Isco, Mesut Ozil could be available as he will struggle to get in the team.

In other words United can have Madrid's third choice playmaker, fourth if you include Xabi Alonso.

When Real Madrid wanted Cristiano Ronaldo they got him, (albeit that it took a world record transfer fee and the player wanted the move).

They didn't 'make do' with Nani or Bebe. They got the best.

Apparently, Manchester United now sit under the top table waiting for scraps, not at it dining on the finest.

It appears that the only two serious title contenders in La Liga can attract the top players more so than any other teams.

Is it because of the automatic Champions League qualification every year? Maybe it's the fact that one or the other will win the domestic title every year.

Possibly, as in Scotland until recently, it's because there are only four games per year, (in the league and barring cup meetings), that will be viewed as difficult to win.

Whatever the reason is, it is not money. Players can certainly be paid as much, if not more, by some Premier League clubs and some Bundesliga clubs.

So, for the moment, the likes of Manchester's United and City, Chelsea, Tottenham et al, will have to make do with the players not wanted by Spain's big two, (or Bayern Munich).

What do you think of Iain's perspective? Why are United struggling to attract marquee names?

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