Solskjaer's primary target wish-list shows serious Man United problems 3 months ago

Solskjaer's primary target wish-list shows serious Man United problems

So you're telling me a 33-year-old free agent wasn't top of the wish list?!

Manchester United failed to secure a single primary target identified by manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer during the 'summer' transfer window, according to a report in ESPN.

The report quotes sources who claim that United's main targets going into the window were Jadon Sancho, which will come as a surprise to absolutely no one who has paid any attention to football news over the past year or so.

Jack Grealish, who recently signed a new contract with Aston Villa, was another target. With reinforcements in defence also a priority, the club had identified now-Man City defender Nathan Ake and RB Leipzig centre-back Dayot Upamecano.

Instead, United failed to sign a defensive partner for out of form captain Harry Maguire, and instead brought in Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek, who has yet to start a league game, Porto full-back Alex Telles, free agent Edinson Cavani, and Penarol forward Facundo Pellistri.

They also announced the signing of Atalanta teenager Amad Traore, with the winger expected to sign for the club upon the approval of a work permit, personal terms and a medical in January 2021.

Advertisement

A number of Manchester United supporters were feeling a combination of bewilderment and anger after what many believed to be a catastrophic transfer window.

The pursuit of Sancho went nowhere, with the club attempting to haggle with Borussia Dortmund despite the German side's insistence from early in the summer that they would only accept a certain fee and only until a certain point in time.

Mark Ogden has also reported that Sancho remains top of Solskjaer's wish-list for the upcoming January and summer 2021 transfer windows. The other player atop that list is Erling Braut Haaland. The Norwegian was said to have teed up Haaland for a move to United only for Woodward and his negotiating team to baulk at the agent fees for the deal, and a £75m release clause in his contract. Had United agreed to that, they could have paid Red Bull Salzburg just €20m to acquire his services.

In the end United were left scrummaging around for reinforcements and ended up with a talented but cut-price Brazilian left-back and a 33-year-old striker reportedly earning up to £10 million a year. So yeah, not ideal.