David Moyes may have long since been sacked as the manager of Manchester United, but in a sense the echo of his tenure remains, with new manager Louis van Gaal reportedly redrawing the transfer plans meticulously drawn up by the former Everton boss.
Under Moyes, United reportedly scouted William Carvalho upwards of 15 times. They were also said to have all but agreed a deal to sign Luke Shaw while Toni Kroos appeared a very viable option.
However, since van Gaal took charge the William rumours have disappeared while Shaw remains a Southampton player for now; despite reports of an imminent £160,000-a-week deal to head to Old Trafford.
Then there is Kroos, who van Gaal may or may not want depending on which report you believe. But the simple fact is with a new managerial appointment comes new plans and new targets.
Suddenly United were being linked with half the Bayern Munich squad and even more members of van Gaal’s Holland side. But while Chelsea have reportedly laid the ground-work for deals for Diego Costa, Tiago and Filipe Luis, United still appear some way off bringing in some much-needed new faces.
In short, United are in exactly the same position they were a year ago, when Moyes first took charge. The same position Mourinho found himself in when he returned to Stamford Bridge and the situation any new manager faces. Because despite what the rumour-mill will have us believe it takes a while to sort out one transfer, let alone a whole raft of them.
I am not for one moment suggesting United would be in for a better season under Moyes than under van Gaal, only that if the Scot had remained one senses he would have had his business done early, with only signatures required and announcements made when the transfer window finally opened.
But with the 62-year-old focused on other things for the next few weeks, and many of Moyes’ targets unlikely to be the same players identified by van Gaal, the club may not see the widespread changes they require just yet.