Manchester United’s summer transfer window started strong, with Mason Mount and Andre Onana joining the ranks in time to get valuable minutes with the squad on the pre-season Tour.
Atalanta’s Ramsus Hojlund was unveiled a week before the Premier League season kicked off, but an injury stopped the Dane from cutting his teeth in the final warm-up games.
Mount’s £60million move from Chelsea was met with optimism. Despite an unconvincing start to his United career, the England international was Erik ten Hag’s man the club’s Director of Football John Murtough delivered.
The Onana deal was settled for just over £50million, and the hefty £72 million layout for Hojlund has left United’s budget all but eaten.
With the three key signings secured, it was time for Murtough to show his ability to work the market, with United needing to offload players before they could make further signings.
Since then, United have only managed to move on Brazilian midfielder Fred and winger Anthony Elanga for combined fees of under £30million.
The club are publicly open to offers for first-team players but have once more struggled to find buyers.
However, a breakdown in personal discussions led to Maguire turning down a move to The Hammers, and United are still without further funds.
Wantaway goalkeeper Dean Henderson is still on the books despite clubs’ interest and his future lying away from Old Trafford.
Additionally, Donny van de Beek and Anthony Martial are still on the books, with the duo not trusted by Ten Hag, who would rather have replacements in his first team.
Upgrades are still much needed at Old Trafford, with the quality in the first-team squad nowhere near the level to mount a serious title challenge.
Murtough’s inability to identify the value-for-money deals in the market was evident in last year’s window, leading to overpaying for players. Unfortunately, the theme has continued into this summer.
Sofyan Amrabat is available from Fiorentina and would add much-needed bite to United’s midfield, but the club are stalling on the deal until they manage to finalise sales.
The ongoing ownership issues are no doubt creating uncertainty.
However, the jury is still out on the competency of Murtough, who will again face a busy final week of the market with United going into yet another season with question marks surrounding the first team.