As the clock ticks, Manchester United are running out of time to secure top targets in defence and midfield.
David Moyes and Ed Woodward came under fire last summer for their approach to signing players in the transfer market last summer. Now the club is in danger of repeating those mistakes this summer under Louis van Gaal.
Manchester United signed Marouane Fellaini for a somewhat inflated fee of £27.5 million last summer after failing to cement deals for Cesc Fabregas, Thiago Silva, Leighton Baines, and Ander Herrera.
Having signed the latter this summer for £29 million, along with England youngster Luke Shaw for £30 million, Louis van Gaal now has just 16 days left to complete their business which will likely include moving on unwanted members of the current squad and replacing them with new additions.
Their pursuit of Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal is on course to be become one of the most protracted sagas of the summer. Meanwhile their £15 million bid for Sporting Lisbon defender Marcos Rojo has seen a legal battle ensue between the his club and management company.
As far as United’s top targets go, there is no sign of confirmed and completed deals on the horizon but are they wasting their time? Last summer the pursuits of Fabregas and Baines took up the majority of Woodward and his team’s time, whilst January saw Juan Mata arrive with relative ease but that may largely be attributed to Chelsea’s desire to sell the playmaker.
The club will be unlikely to require any big signings up front but they have still yet to replace veteran defenders Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand who both left the club on free transfers this summer. The new Premier League campaign begins this weekend and yet United have only Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones as their options at centre back, whilst Luke Shaw’s hamstring injury gives Louis van Gaal headache over the left fullback slot, which is far from ideal.
Having failed to sign Thomas Vermaelen the club appear to be pursuing Daley Blind which is a possible avenue, given Van Gaal’s work with the Dutchman at the World Cup - but time is running out.
In midfield there is less concern with an abundance of quality options and cover, which can also be applied to the forward lines but if United want to ensure they secure a top four finish this season, getting new players in early and settled in in pre-season would have been preferable, especially given the inflated prices and pressure that is heaped onto deals as the window nears its close in little over two week’s time.