After a summer of considerable speculation, how short have United fallen when it comes to their transfer business?
Every morning for the last two months, I have trawled through the gossip columns in preparation for HITC Sport's daily Manchester United transfer round-up.
And this morning I read through each of those round-ups, to see exactly how many players United were linked with in a summer that began with great promise but ended in a damp and disappointing squib.
Since the transfer window opened at the beginning of July, the champions have been linked with 38 players, 22 of which are midfielders.
Some rumours could be instantly dismissed, such as the bizarre and swiftly-forgotten story linking them with a move for Bayern Munich’s Bastian Schweinsteiger. But others stuck around for weeks, most notably the reports surrounding Ezequiel Garay, Thiago Alcantara and Cesc Fabregas.
In the end, United’s failed pursuit of the former Arsenal midfielder may have been the catalyst for the disappointment that followed.
Had they got the hint earlier, and triggered the release clauses of Fellaini and Ander Herrera, David Moyes could have spent deadline day with his feet up, rather than frantically trying to put the finishing touches to moves that never occurred.
Instead, after two months of rumours linking United with one goalkeeper, eight defenders, 22 midfielders and seven forwards, they brought in only one man – Fellaini.
Fans may point to the fact that Uruguayan right-back Guillermo Varela has also arrived at Old Trafford this summer. But that was a move put in motion by Sir Alex Ferguson, and completed before Moyes was officially in post.
Fellaini is a good footballer who will considerably improve United’s lacklustre midfield; but a look back over the list of players United may have signed will prompt thoughts of if only among fans who had hoped for so much more.
Are there any United fans satisfied with United's late business? And for the rest of you, who should the club have done everything they could to sign?
image: © eirikref