Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wanted four transfers – but Ed Woodward delivered none | Football | Sport
It was a mixed summer for Manchester United when it came to the transfer window.
There were definitely positives. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is a happy man because he got Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Daniel James and Harry Maguire. He’s also delighted at offloading dead wood such as Alexis Sanchez, Romelu Lukaku, Matteo Darmian, Chris Smalling and Antonio Valencia.
But it could have been more. The Norwegian went into the summer with a big wishlist of targets but Woodward, the man in charge of transfer business at Old Trafford, couldn’t get them in.
In the United CEO’s defence, some of the transfers would be tricky for even the shrewdest negotiators to broker. We now take a look at four players Solskjaer wanted – and why they didn’t arrive.
Herrera left for Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer throughout the summer, leaving a sizeable hole in his former club’s midfield.
Immediately, Solskjaer told Woodward that Longstaff was the player he needed.
But, ultimately, the Red Devils were unable to get a deal for the 21-year-old over the line.
Upon learning United were interested in Longstaff, Newcastle upped the player’s price to £50million – a fee even they were unwilling to meet.
At the start of the summer, Solskjaer was adamant that United needed to improve their right flank.
After all, the Red Devils had nobody particularly apt at playing there. Sanchez, Anthony Martial and Alexis Sanchez were all better on the opposite flank.
But United’s failure to finish in the Champions League qualifying slots ultimately counted against them.
And the Red Devils were also unwilling to meet Dortmund’s huge £100m asking price – leading them to sign James instead.
This was a transfer born out of chance, rather than likelihood.
However, while the Argentina international was open to moving to Old Trafford, his wage demands scuppered a deal.
His agent, though, has recently claimed his own demands did not stop the transfer from happening.
United left it late to try and see whether a deal for Christian Eriksen was feasible.
However, United pulled the plug.
They feared Eriksen would rather play in Spain at Real Madrid and did not want to sign a player only half-committed to the cause.
Speculation has since arisen, though, suggesting United will go back in for the player in January.