Manchester United have hinted at a change in their transfer approach
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is looking to strengthen his team this summer and has already spoken about how he will do it.by Richard Fay, https://www.facebook.com/RichFayMEN/
It might seem odd, but there are plenty of things Manchester United would probably liked to have done differently in the January transfer window.
After finally agreeing a move for Bruno Fernandes in the final week of the window, their last meaningful action was to sign off a deal for Odion Ighalo - little did they know it would be cut short quite in the circumstances which have developed.
As Ole Gunnar Solskjaer addressed the media on transfer deadline day there was a sense of scepticism in the air. United fans had grown used to the manager's press conference confusion, and when he said he wasn't expecting any further business, supporters questioned whether or not that would be the case.
Having already seen a bid rejected for Joshua King on the Friday morning, attention switched to alternatives as United scurried to get a short-term deal for Ighalo in place. It wasn't an ideal situation, but it was one which paid off to great effect.
With the Nigerian set to leave Old Trafford at the end of the week many fans will be hoping Solskjaer can emulate such a masterstroke in the summer window, but the Norwegian probably won't share that thought.
United's late capture of Ighalo was labelled as 'desperate' in January, and although he silenced many critics, there can be no argument that such a late move wasn't rather unprofessional.
Even with the uncertainty which lies ahead this summer United are still pressing forward with their plans to sign three players, and without the European Championship as a distraction, they will be hopeful of getting their business done shortly after the end of this season, whenever that might be.
"We are a long way off the top of the table but we are improving and improving and we gradually will improve with the right ones," Solskjaer said at the end of January.
"It won’t be six or seven coming in [in the summer]. But here we go again, January is not even done but we are talking about the summer window. Hopefully we can do our business early on."
Solskjaer's desire to get business done early on is totally understandable. Last summer United acted quickly to recruit Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka before the pre-season trip to Australia, while the club were comfortable in the knowledge Harry Maguire's signature would have to wait.
With pre-season plans scuppered for all sides at the end of the season there will be even more control over player arrivals, although United know a premium will likely need to be paid in order to recruit their most desired additions. A year ago they benefited from bringing James and Wan-Bissaka in as early, while Maguire, a more experienced head, slotted right in.
However, after such progress there was clear frustration in January as United were made to wait for Fernandes to sign, after the rejection from Erling Haaland left them scrolling further down a list of back-up options they hadn't envisaged they would have to pursue.
United have been eager to reiterate it won't be business as usual when the transfer window finally does open, and while supporters might have to quell some expectations, the speed in which the club agree deals is something which needed changing anyway.