The ease and discretion with which Manchester City concluded the deal for Jack Rodwell over the weekend made it even more painfully clear that Manchester United are really struggling in the market these days.
That Chelsea snapped up Oscar with minimal fuss and PSG seemed to get the Lucas Moura deal concluded within hours further twists the knife in to the Old Trafford outfit and begs the question: Why can’t United close a deal anymore?
Obviously Chelsea and Manchester City have inordinate amounts of cash to spend . But, If the Glazers and Sir Alex are to be believed, then Manchester United aren’t struggling for cash flow either. So why are they making every deal so protracted and ultimately losing out on most of their targets?
Time and again over the last few years Manchester United have drawn out their negotiations to the point that someone else steps in or the deal just fizzles out completely.
Robin Van Persie wants to go to Manchester United. Of course Arsenal don’t want to sell their best player to their old rivals and, consequently, they are quoting big sums. It’s nothing new or conceited. It’s the way football business goes. Manchester United are being given ample opportunity to show that they really want the player. But, instead of biting off the hand up to the elbow, they seem to be squabbling over a few million and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this deal now goes south aswell.
How often do you get the chance to sign a world class player? Not often, even for the top clubs. Robin Van Persie is nearly as good a player as Wayne Rooney. He will walk straight into the first XI at Manchester United and therefore fits perfectly into the category of seriously good signings. A first team addition rather than a squad builder. Someone who can make an instant difference in the biggest games. But United are now in danger of letting this one fall through their fingers and allowing the class gap between them and their rivals to increase to a potentially insurmountable level.
By haggling, as usual, over a few million Manchester United appear to be playing Russian Roulette with their future as the pre-eminent power of English football. This is a deal that Fergie needs to get done now rather than let a PSG or Manchester City pop along last minute and show Arsenal the money.
So are you frustrated with Manchester United’s current transfer strategy?