David Moyes has confirmed to reporters that Manchester United were very close to a ‘major, major signing’ in the summer, a statement which suggests United were in for players at the level of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale.
United were interested in a host of players including (but not limited) Cesc Fabregas, Thiago Alcantara, Sami Khedira and Fabio Coentro this summer but had to settle on the arrival of Marouane Fellaini as the only signing.
Only players at the very top would be considered ‘major, major signings’, so it is good to hear that United were in the market for a marquee signing of that ilk.
“We were very close to a major, major signing,” he said.
“It’s easy to say now, ‘Well, you didn’t do it’ but we were very close to a major signing when the club would have definitely shown what its worth is.
“We have got the money and the club will spend. There is no question about that.
“We were close to a couple of really major signings. I’ve got to say, Ed [Woodward, executive vice chairman] worked really hard trying to make those signings happen.
“In the end, we didn’t quite get there but it wasn’t down to money. Players have chosen other clubs or made their decisions elsewhere.”
When asked if he would resurrect a bid for the same big-name target in January, Moyes said: “Not that particular player. I would be very, very surprised if it was [to happen] next summer, either.”
The cynical reader may see this as nothing more than a shrewd PR ploy by the club and Moyes. United’s official website has now run the story so it could be seen as nothing more than an attempt to appease some of the discontent amongst United fans right now.
However, Moyes insisted that United are still in a financial position to back a move for one of the worlds best players.
He continued: “Is the money in place to make a major signing? Definitely, 100 per cent. We were very close to a major signing in the summer.
“It’s easy saying that now because, of course, we didn’t do it. But we were really close to a major signing and the club would have definitely shown what they’re worth.
“We have got the money and the club will spend, there’s no question about that. But we were close to a couple of really major signings.
“Ed Woodward (United’s vice-chairman) worked really hard trying to make those signings happen, but, in the end, we just didn’t quite get there.
“It wasn’t for money, that was for sure. The players had chosen other clubs or made their decisions elsewhere.”
What this does confirm is that United have set themselves up for a major, major fall if another summer goes by without a landmark signing to kick start the Moyes era.
The money is there and it sounds like the desire is as well. Now Moyes and Woodward need to make it happen because as it stands, quotes like this make United look like a club who can’t sign players at that level any more.