Man Utd's disastrous tale of transfer woe

Man Utd transfer negotiator Ed Woodward under fire as Pedro joins Chelsea
Man Utd transfer negotiator Ed Woodward under fire as Pedro joins Chelsea

The has been another summer when Manchester United tried, failed and then claimed they didn’t want to sign a host of star names.

It is a familiar tale of woe for the Old Trafford club since executive vice chairman Ed Woodward took control of transfer dealings, as this list of near misses confirms.

Arturo Vidal

How much print and web space was taken up by United’s pursuit of Chilean international Vidal?

Unless the reporters covering United were getting information from a terrible source or the information they were being fed was plane lies, Woodward tried to sign Vidal in the summer of 2013 and 2014. He joined Bayern Munich this summer.

Cesc Fabregas

United legend Denis Irwin told the Sunday World that his club were keen to sign the former Arsenal skipper in the summer of 2013 and that interest continued into the summer of 2014.

With agents involved in the potential deal keen to push through his move to Old Trafford, the transfer failed to get over the finishing line. Fabregas joined Chelsea last summer.

Gareth Bale

United’s links with Bale date back to their botched attempt to sabotage his world record breaking move from Tottenham to Real Madrid in 2013 and they have twice made bids to sign the Welshman once again this summer.

Woodward and United appear to make offers for players without assessing availability prior to that bid being put in and with Real Madrid refusing to sell Bale, their encouraging hints that a deal could take place never materialized.

Toni Kroos

United ‘sources’ were confident that a deal for this Bayern Munich midfielder would move to Old Trafford last summer and they were briefing journalists to suggest his arrival was imminent in late May. A day later, they suddenly announced they were no longer interested in signing this World Cup winner.

Many suspected Kroos has, in fact, turned down the chance to join United in favour of a move to Real Madrid and that was confirmed a few weeks later.

Mats Hummels

Throughout the summer of 2014 and last January transfer window, United seemed convinced that they had all-but sealed a deal to sign this German defender.

Borussia Dortmund confirmed that they received bids from United for the player and conceded that they were willing to allow him to leave, but Hummels opted to stay at Dortmund.

Sergio Ramos

United clearly tried to turn a negative into a positive when they tried to get this Spanish World Cup winning defender as part of a deal that would see their keeper David De Gea move to Real Madrid.

Yet not for the first time, United failed to grasp that Real Madrid’s refusal to sell Ramos was not just for show. They were never going to sell this prized asset and he duly signed a new contract to see out his career with them. United then claimed they were happy with the defenders they had and would not looked to sign any more. Who needs Ramos anyway right!

Thomas Muller

As was the case with Bale, putting in random offers for vast sums to try and sign this World Cup winner was always a policy doomed to failure in this transfer window.

Bayern have made it clear that they would not sell Muller to Man Utd in this transfer window, yet Woodward apparently went back in with a €85m offer last week. Cash is not the issue in this non-transfer and United should have worked that out by now.