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How many transfer targets have Manchester United actually missed out on?

To start with they haven’t missed out on Schneiderlin, Schweinsteiger, Darmian, Romero or Depay, as they signed all of them, and remarkably quickly based on Ed Woodward’s previous perfomances.

There are three players United are reported to have missed out on, but have they really? That’s not to say they never wanted them, just that their interest ceased before anything transpired. Let’s take a look at the individuals.

1. Sergio Ramos
Never a realistic target in my opinion. Ramos used United’s interest to get an improved contract at Real Madrid. He was never interested in leaving. It’s a little like saying they have missed out on Lionel Messi because he is staying at Barcelona.
Conclusion: Not one they have missed out on, he was never going anywhere.

2. Nicolas Otamendi
A signing I personally would like to have seen happen. Initially, when negotiations were just between Valencia and United this looked promising. United, however, would not meet the buy-out clause and, rather than staying at the negotiating table, Valencia invited more offers to attract more money by starting an auction. At this stage United dropped out of the running, not wanting to be involved in the auction.
Conclusion: Not one they have missed out on, they chose to end negotiations.

3. Pedro Rodriguez
Unlike the other two, who would have been logical additions, Pedro is one whereby initially the thinking is; why do United need another winger? This one came reasonably close to happening and would maybe have been a good signing for United, I’m not sure. What seems to have happened here is that Pedro, at some stage, has spoken to Victor Valdes and Cesc Fabregas. Valdes certainly seems to have an axe to grind with van Gaal, so it should be no surprise that he didn’t endorse the move with any enthusiasm. If it was ever discovered that Fabregas had recommended a player to go to United he would probably be shot at dawn. So, in what appeared to be a bout of washerwomens gossip, it looked like the two of them turned Pedro’s head. I would be very surprised if this was done without Jose Mourinho’s knowledge, so a deal was put in place. I also think that, before any of this happened with Chelsea, van Gaal was made aware of it and pulled out of the deal.
Conclusion: Again, United pulled out of the deal, so you can’t say they missed out on him.

As far as I am concerned, to miss out on a player, he has got to sign for another club while you still hold an interest. Any player who moves once your interest has ended cannot be said to have been missed.

So, at the time of writing, United haven’t missed out on signing anyone. I do think, however, that there are players they haven’t signed who they would have liked in their squad. That is the difference.

There are players I haven’t mentioned here because the so-called “interest” in them hasn’t been strong enough to merit it. Players who have been linked once or twice or for two or three days don’t feature as I don’t consider that to be serious enough. Likewise players, like Nicolas Gaitan, who express a desire to go to United. If he doesn’t end up at Old Trafford, United cannot be considered to have missed out because I have never read that they were seriously interested. Which is why only the three aforementioned make it into this blog up to now. I am prepared to write an update if another one or two appear.

Who knows what the remainder of the transfer window will bring? There will, no doubt, be more twists and turns before we reach the end, when we can return to the relative calm of Premier League competition.

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