Manchester United bosses are still claiming that they have ‘always backed’ manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the transfer market.

‘United insist they have always backed their manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and claim spending in this current window would have been significantly higher had they not been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic,’ The Mirror‘s Steve Bates reports today amid reports that the club are tightening security around executive vice chairman Ed Woodward as the transfer window closes.

Speaking in April, Woodward said ‘we aim to remain highly competitive in the market.

‘As I said before and I’ve said this many times, we remain committed to backing Ole to win trophies. That’s our core objective as a club.’

However, with just 36 hours of the transfer window remaining, Woodward’s words have a hollow sound to them, as United Peoples TV pointed out this morning on Twitter.

‘Spend by PL clubs this summer:

A.Villa £74m

We’ve spent as much as Newcastle and Villa/Leeds have spent double. Backed Ole? Lies.’

Spend by PL clubs this summer:

A.Villa £74m

Chelsea £222.4m

Leeds £79.4m

Leicester £55.8m

Liverpool £71.7m

Man City £141.2m

Newcastle £35m

Sheffield Utd £50m

Spurs £89m

Wolves £74m

United £35m

We’ve spent as much as Newcastle & Villa/Leeds have spent double. Backed Ole? Lies. https://t.co/ISCR5AeP8G

— United Peoples TV (@UnitedPeoplesTV) October 4, 2020

 

Fans’ anger with the owners and board is reaching fever pitch again, even with the signing of Donny van de Beek and the impending arrival of Edinson Cavani.

The fact that the club has been outspent by the likes of Sheffield United, Wolves, Leeds and Aston Villa is shocking when the stated aim is to close the gap on rivals Liverpool and Manchester City, who have spent double and quadrouple the amount United have, respectively.

Of course, the board will point to the fact that they were willing to spend close to £100 million for Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho and that they will not spend for the sake of it when a transfer such as that does not come off.

However, they cannot adequately explain their refusal to pay just £18 million for world-class full back Alex Telles.

They also cannot explain why they are holding out for almost double for 30-year-old centre-back Chris Smalling from Roma than they are offering for 27-year-old Telles.

It is inexplicable, given that they are trying to sell Smalling, Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones, that they have not attempted to strengthen their centre-back roster with a player such as Red Bull Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano and why they have been left signing 33-year-old Cavani on an expensive short-term contract rather than investing in a younger, quality striker such as Timo Werner, Dominic Calvert-Lewin or Lautaro Martinez.

The United board have just 36 hours to prove the fans wrong and deliver on Woodward’s promise to back Solskjaer, or at the very least, to prove they are capable of matching the likes of Leeds and Sheffield United in their transfer market spending.

This summer’s transfer window has been one of the strangest in living memory. So cast your mind back to less stressful days and test your knowledge of past United arrivals and departures in our quiz below.

Red Billy is co-editor of The Peoples Person, author of three books and totally obsessed with football's transfer market. Always glad to get feedback - write to redbilly (at thepeoplesperson.com) or click the email link to send a message.