With the opening of the transfer window fast approaching, teams across Europe are already making their moves in the summer market.
Manchester United are expecting a busy few months, with reinforcements required all over the park in order to mount a serious title charge next season.
The benefits of getting players through the door as early as possible in the window are obvious with pre-season starting in just under a month’s time.
However, United are notorious for their laboured approach in the market, something that has hurt not just the team dynamic at the start of the season but also the club’s pockets.
Often they end up needing to overpay in the mad rush of the dying days of the window.
Despite the window not opening until next week, six potential targets have already decided that their destination lies elsewhere and not Old Trafford.
Youri Tielemans was available on a free transfer after Leicester City’s relegation from the Premier League.
The Belgian would have plugged several holes in Ten Hag’s midfield but Aston Villa have moved quick to snap up the 26-year-old.
Brighton’s Alexis Mac Allister had emerged as one of the most sought after players in the division after a World Cup win and a fine campaign with the Seagulls.
However, Liverpool have secured a £35million deal for the player despite strong links with United.
Centre-back Evan Ndicka and midfield man Houssem Aouar have also been linked with United but Jose Mourinho has his eyes on the pair. Aouar has sealed his deal to Jose’s Roma and Ndicka is reportedly close to following him.
Feyenoord’s Orkun Kokcu was available for an economical price of €25million and would have added some much needed legs in United’s midfield but Benfica have nipped in to secure his signature.
The most high profile move of the market so far has been Jude Bellingham’s proposed move to Real Madrid.
United were one of many sides left disappointed but not surprised that the generational talent chose the Bernabeu as his next destination.
Having already missed out on the six players mentioned, it also looks as though neither Declan Rice or James Maddison will be joining the ranks at Old Trafford this summer despite both being linked with moves to United.
Arsenal are the frontrunners for Rice while Maddison is tipped to join either Newcastle or Tottenham.
The ongoing sale of the club is no doubt casting a cloud over United’s transfer activity this summer with manager Erik ten Hag unaware of the transfer kitty he has it his disposal.
United are seeing the rest of the elite European clubs build their squads for next season in a clear and efficient manner while the club continues to languish, much like they have done over the last decade.