Manchester United’s summer transfer window was a successful one with six players coming through the Carrington doors and most of them have been success stories.
It was not a straightforward window, however, with so many players linked with the club on a daily basis. Most were aware of the club’s need to rebuild with new manager Erik ten Hag at the helm.
Apart from the players who ended up arriving in Manchester, the English giants were also linked with a host of other names and they were quite close to landing a few of them.
ETH wanted Arnautovic
Among the stars who were close to arriving at the Theatre of Dreams was Bologna striker Marko Arnautovic. Ten Hag was interested in acquiring his services at one stage.
The 33-year-old striker scored 14 goals in 33 Serie A matches last season which alerted the Red Devils and the deal looked quite close.
🔴🔴🔴Marko Arnautovic has revealed that Manchester United attempted to sign him several times👇👇
"Manchester United tried to sign me several times. And it was a difficult decision to stay in Italy because my family wanted to return to England.#MUFC #ManUtd #ManUnited pic.twitter.com/c9oRvol6FI
— MUMU Football (@MUMUfootball) November 20, 2022
Speaking to Austrian publication Laola1, Arnautovic reflected on the summer gone by and revealed how close United were to signing him.
“Manchester United tried to sign me several times and it was a difficult decision to stay in Italy because my family wanted to return to England.”
And the former West Ham United and Stoke City striker was himself highly vested in that deal considering the status United enjoy in the global game compared to his current club.
How move broke down
“For me it’s clear that the Red Devils remain at the top of the universe and Bologna, as a name, are not. But that’s fine.
“Here everything is calm, you have time for yourself and no stress. This is only good for me.”
After a rather public backlash from the fans, the deal was ultimately abandoned but that has not stopped the Austrian from carrying on in the same vein.
He has registered eight goals in 13 league games under Sinisa Mihajlovic and Thiago Motta. And United are desperate for a high-calibre option up front but it looks unlikely that they will revisit their interest in Arnautovic.
The Reds’ need for a striker has increased following Cristiano Ronaldo’s incendiary interview with Piers Morgan where attacked all aspects of the club and did not hold back.