10 players Man Utd missed out on as doors slam shut on transfer window

Manchester United fans may look back on the summer transfer window feeling hard done by, to say the least.

Donny van de Beek arrived at the end of August for £34m from Ajax – but is yet to make a Premier League start for the Red Devils.

Transfer deadline day was a busy one at Old Trafford, though, as Alex Telles and Edinson Cavani’s arrivals were confirmed as well as the signing of Atalanta youngster Amad Diallo.

United’s humiliating 6-1 loss to Tottenham, though, showed the need for a centre-back as well as further strengthening of the midfield.

The lack of business in these key ares of the pitch could be the nails in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s coffin as Mauricio Pochettino has been contacted by the club.

So Mirror Sport has taken a look back over a summer of disappointment and what-could-have-been for United.

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Jadon Sancho

Where else can we start?

The Borussia Dortmund was top priority for United this summer, having scored 20 goals and made 20 assists in the 2019/20 campaign.

Despite Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood getting 63 goals between them last year, depth in attacking options was a requirement from Solskjaer.

While United got as far as personal terms with Sancho, Dortmund did not consider anything other than £108m in full as club chiefs and players said he would be staying.

The saying goes “if 100 people tell you you’re dead, lie down” – looks like United didn’t get the message.

And it could get even worse next year as Liverpool could be ready to sniff around the Englishman’s availability.

Gareth Bale

Part of United’s plan at the start of the window had been to sign a young forward as well as one with experience.

The latter was identified as Bale, who had suffered a torrid time at Real Madrid last season that was made blatantly clear in his lacklustre title celebrations.

Despite only playing 20 games last season, the Welshman's four Champions League wins were seen to fit the bill ahead of United’s European campaign.

But delays from Ed Woodward over a decision put the forward off an Old Trafford, instead opting for a Tottenham return.

While Bale’s itchy feet proved to be the deal’s undoing, his travel partner from Spain was a hammer blow to United.

Sergio Reguilon

If a forward was top of the list for United, a left-back would have been second.

Luke Shaw and Brandon Williams shared the position last season – but that only highlights it as a neglected position by Solskjaer.

Then Reguilon showed up, having impressed the United board in the Sevilla’s Europa League semi-final win.

Once again, Woodward got to the negotiating table with the 23-year-old over a £23m deal for the Spaniard last month.

But uncertainty from the chief crept in once again, with the club unwilling to agree to a buy-back clause, opening the door for Jose Mourinho's Spurs.

Picking up a theme yet?

Federico Chiesa

With the sun starting to set on the transfer window, United’s hunt saw them go through the list of previous rejections.

And it took them to the Serie A youngster, who now has 34 goals in more than 150 appearances.

United were shown the door with a £60m bid for Chiesa – but it did not stop them having another bite of the cherry.

And they were shown the door just as quickly as a loan bid was “rejected” by Fiorentina, who knew Juventus had something better to offer.

The Old Lady have brought the 22-year-old in a two-year loan deal, paying €3m (£2.7m) and €7m (£6.35m) before having the option to buy for €40m (£36.3m).

With United’ history in this transfer window, this just seemed like boys against men.

Ben Chilwell

Reguilon was actually United’s second target for full-back after failing to capture Leicester’s former defender.

Chilwell’s part in an impressive campaign for the Foxes last year earned speculation of a battle between Solskjaer and Frank Lampard.

And United had once again managed to get in early – but then doubts and hesitation crept in…

With Chelsea ready to throw £200m at the transfer window this year, there was always going to be one winner.

Jack Grealish

Despite the strong performances of Bruno Fernandes and arrival of van de Beek, another attacking midfielder was requirement No.3 at Old Trafford.

And Grealish, who guided Aston Villa to Premier League survival last year while scoring eight goals and making six assists, was seen as the answer.

United made it to the table with the Birmingham side – but another failure to act quickly saw the midfielder’s side pounce.

Villa locked him up in a £130,000-a-week five-year deal last month that will require £80m to pry away.

Money and confidence – two things United appeared to lack this summer.

James Maddison

It is a carbon-copy story when it comes to Grealish’s international team-mate and Leicester No.10.

With six goals and three assists, the 23-year-old was touted as an alternative by United before the window opened.

Enter a bumper contract extension that put the Englishman on £95,000-a-week until 2023, stopping United in their tracks.

Broken record yet?

Kalidou Koulibaly

Did you know there’s no such thing as a plural for the word “priority”? That may be a shame for United.

A centre-back would make it four requirements from the transfer window, especially after seeing 11 goals conceded in their first three league games.

It saw Woodward reportedly join the race with Manchester City for Koulibaly, rated as one of the best centre-backs in Europe.

While his age [29] and £80m appeared to put United off a move, United's leaky performances may suggest this was a missed opportunity.

Ismaila Sarr

With the clock ticking on United’s search for a forward, they turned to Watford ’s youngster after an impressive debut Premier League season.

After Liverpool walked away from a deal, United looking into an opportunity for a season-long loan – but the Hornets have made comments previously suggesting they want a fee.

There may be more to come from this deal due to the domestic decline falling on October 16 but the impact of an extra forward would be lost on the Champions League campaign.

Ousmane Dembele

The final port of call in United’s pursuit of a forward took them to the Nou Camp and a player who has been plagued with injury.

But it did not stop Solskjaer enquiring about the 23-year-old, looking to capitalise on Barcelona’s hopes of signing Memphis Depay.

And it appeared the United had learnt their lesson from previous forward pursuits, offering £55m for the Frenchman.

With hours to the deadline, though, the Spanish side would not consider it.

Too little, too late, some may say.

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