Transfer Strategy - Thoughts

TheReligion

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I’m interested to see what the consensus is here from fans as I see a lot of mixed opinions.

Everyones ideal window is to get your top targets in early, within budget and in good time to settle with the squad.

In reality though, and as with any business deals, time itself can play a huge part so often the bigger deals can only happen when deadlines shorten, clubs become pressured and a game of poker takes place.

So in terms of the club where do you stand on this?

Should it be criticised for engaging in poker so as to try and get the best players and the best deals?

Or should the approach have been very much get what we can done early and if not move on to a different player?
 

MF1138

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It really depends on the exact situation.
If it's the case that you have a stable club, with the structure and management all in place so you can properly plan, then I'd prefer the bulk of business to be done early so that players can settle in and get used to the way the team plays. Have a max value for the player and walk away after a reasonable time if the selling club want more. The selling club shouldn't feel that the highest offer will be on the table forever, that emboldens them to try and wait things out.

There should though be room in the strategy to allow for certain players that may be worth pursuing much longer than we'd like. For instance if someone like Mbappe became available and we thought the deal could be done then pursuing a deal like that up to the end of the window would be worth the hassle.

However when you're in a situation like we were with a new manager coming in an a new football structure being implemented then it's to be expected that old targets won't fit with the plan and the new targets will require legwork to be done that ideally would have been done well before the season ended. It's the problem with constantly changing managers and strategies every couple of years.
 
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stoinz

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I really do not know what is happening in the backend but from what we can see from the outside, things are a big mess:

1. We cant shift any players out other than free transfers. I suspect this affected our budget greatly

2. We can't seem to conclude any deals for our key targets quickly. Not knowing who will be rely on in the upcoming season, do we play some youngsters or send them out on loan. We knew very early on we needed a FW and at least one CM. On the CM position, we still have not decided which of Garner, Zidane, Hannibal, Savage to send out on loan because we can't get anyone in. By the time we decided, the good loan opportunities might not exist anymore.

3. We gotten 3 players in areas where we are stacked with players. I'm happy with all 3 but I'll be much happier if we gotten in our key targets earlier. A CB, LB, and AM which we signed without moving anyone out.

4. Lastly, the media briefings are a joke really. I really hate all these media attention on us during transfer windows. I know we shouldn;t comment on every transfer rumors but maybe some when some of the rumors become too toxic or it is apparent some agents using us to drum up interest.
 

Baneofthegame

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It’s more our ability to sell players that annoys me more to an anything, Jones/Bailly/Tuanzebe/Williams/Telles etc should all be gone.
 

Lecland07

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The strategy is clear and correct, no matter how much people want to complain about it:

- The club is refusing to sign any random alternative just for the sake of making a signing. This is the correct approach. We are trying to sign De Jong, which has not been concluded in any way at this point - the transfer window does not close until September, so there is still time to complete this. Signing random players is the reason why the squad is in such a mess. Players have to fulfil a role, and if De Jong happens to be the only one available that can fulfil that role, no alternative signing should be made.

- The above has already been stated by the club and manager. They have also said that there are alternative targets, but, if they are not available, they will then look to within the club (academy) to fulfil that role. This, again, is correct as it reduces the amount of money wasted on players who people will want replaced in the near future.

- Player sales are difficult when the club wants them to leave. The selling club is in the weakest position in these cases. The player actually wanting to leave and a club wanting to buy them is a necessity; the selling club has no say in this. This is a mess of a position, so I am not surprised the club has struggled to sell. However, enormous wages are being saved on Pogba, Matic, Mata, Lingard, Henderson (wages are being fully paid by Forest), and Pereira. Despite only one being a sale, this is still a big change in the squad.

- Signing strategy is: only sign players that are good enough and fulfil the required role - if not, use the youth academy.
 

Maticmaker

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This is the correct approach. We are trying to sign De Jong, which has not been concluded in any way at this point -
If there is only one player in the world who can fulfill the role we require, and we cannot get him, (not it appears even get him to say he might like to come)... then surely we have to change the role?
 

Newstyle

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What disturbs me the most is the feeling of “the same old” in this transfer window - Even though with new personnel. It is the feeling of no strategy, no planning and no determination.

It is a couple of weeks left of the window so on a positive note I will not judge until the fat lady sings.
 

Matt851

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The strategy is clear and correct, no matter how much people want to complain about it:

- The club is refusing to sign any random alternative just for the sake of making a signing. This is the correct approach. We are trying to sign De Jong, which has not been concluded in any way at this point - the transfer window does not close until September, so there is still time to complete this. Signing random players is the reason why the squad is in such a mess. Players have to fulfil a role, and if De Jong happens to be the only one available that can fulfil that role, no alternative signing should be made.

- The above has already been stated by the club and manager. They have also said that there are alternative targets, but, if they are not available, they will then look to within the club (academy) to fulfil that role. This, again, is correct as it reduces the amount of money wasted on players who people will want replaced in the near future.

- Player sales are difficult when the club wants them to leave. The selling club is in the weakest position in these cases. The player actually wanting to leave and a club wanting to buy them is a necessity; the selling club has no say in this. This is a mess of a position, so I am not surprised the club has struggled to sell. However, enormous wages are being saved on Pogba, Matic, Mata, Lingard, Henderson (wages are being fully paid by Forest), and Pereira. Despite only one being a sale, this is still a big change in the squad.

- Signing strategy is: only sign players that are good enough and fulfil the required role - if not, use the youth academy.
The strategy you mentioned is probably what the club would have claimed the strategy is under ole as well. Realistically our strategy this summer has been to sign players eth knows.

It's all very well talking about only signing the right players but our squad is the weakest it has been in some time and our midfield in particular is third rate. If we don't improve in central midfield or up front we can write off our champions league chances then we will struggle to attract targets next year
 

bosnian_red

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Always depends on the quality of player you are chasing and the gap to the backups, the price difference, quantity of signings needed, total budget, etc. Also it matters if you are coming from a position of strength. United for example has massively struggled lately, struggled in the transfer window for years, and it would've done more for the club to just pay up, get certain signings done quickly and start the season strongly to send a message. Sometimes you just have to be more assertive with your decisions, even if you miss out on dream targets.

The games come thick and fast at the start of the season, and we aren't ready for them, and our main signings aren't ready to start the first games either. So with that, it would have been better to move on earlier in the summer, get players in, get those we don't want out, and have a set squad starting the season. Then spend the last month of the window chasing dreams.
 

Chesterlestreet

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The FDJ business isn't obviously a feck-up from United from an outside perspective.

Even if he should end up at Chelsea, it isn't that - without actually knowing the details.

It's a clusterfeck type of situation with a lot of factors involved.

That said, if FDJ is considered an essential upgrade - we should obviously have a Plan B in place. Ending up with nothing because your desired target turned out to slip away at the last moment is not acceptable.

As for all the Ajax/ETH targets/connections - I dunno. I'm willing to call that fair enough for now.

I'm not in any way convinced that anyone at this club knows what the feck they're doing in terms of player recruitment, though.

A good DOF generally doesn't start doing his business when the window opens. He's been working on deals (not least deals that involve priority positions) for months before the window opens. And he - obviously - doesn't rely on getting tips from whoever the manager * happens to be. Again, though - cutting some slack, yeah, whatever, sure.

* Head coach, whatever.
 

Bigfoot2

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I'm dreading the season ahead, the recent acquisitions won't get us into the CL next season and I can see that it will take more than one window to assemble the required talent whether it be imported or home grown. We've been on a downward spiral now for ten years and wasted a fortune on managers and players who have turned out to be non events. Regardless of their standing with the fans, the owners have provided the money only to see it trickle down the drain.
Question, who in our team would sell tomorrow for £50m taking into consideration that it is the price being asked for a defender from the the team we face on Sunday.
As Freddie Mercury sang, "I'm going slightly mad":devil:
 

r3idy

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No one has really answered my question as to what approach they would prefer or desire?
At the end of the day, us fans can only call it how we see it. No incomings would lead the opinion, the new executive group is clueless, don't know what they are doing, out of there depth etc. None of us can say for certain.

It is not beyond the realms of possibility that FdJ has said he will join the club as soon as he sorts his back pay from Barca and it must be a minimum of £XXX other wise he will stick it out (as he is entitled to). We are three days away from the season start and 4 weeks from the close of the window. There must come a point though where we either stick or twist. Stick as in no alternative for FDJ and we buy him in another window (same way Liverpool did with VVD) or twist and we increase the offer and salary to futher compensate for his back pay. I doubt it will be the latter. The other option is we get another player but if we are backing ETH and he doesn't want him, then the new set up is no different to the old one

My opinion is if it means this summer is a bit more short term pain so we don't get took for a ride and we can then for what of a better word enjoy future windows then I will take it. I read some reports that when we enquired about Nunez, we were instantly quoted a higher figure both on fee and salary compared to Liverpool and we walked away. I am encouraged by these kind of reports. We have often criticised Woodward for completing mind boggling deals but we cant have our cake and eat it, as frustrating as it is for us all.

Closing note, even if FDJ is the marquee, game changer, all or nothing player, the fee has been agreed. There is no reason why Arnold and Murtogh cannot pursue the other targets assumuing the budget is there.
 

Leftback99

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It will depend on the outcome. If we get De Jong in the end then it will have been a success but it's looking highly unlikely at this point

I'm baffled by the approach to other positions though. We're clearly have a weakness at right back and right wing and appear to be doing nothing.
 

Bestofthebest

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Strategy??? Didn’t know we had one. Unless it is to go for our most important requirement right at the start of the window before dropping out/ failing at the end of the window.
 

Rams

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I think the powers to be at United should base their transfer strategy on what’s posted in the Caf.
 

TheReligion

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At the end of the day, us fans can only call it how we see it. No incomings would lead the opinion, the new executive group is clueless, don't know what they are doing, out of there depth etc. None of us can say for certain.

It is not beyond the realms of possibility that FdJ has said he will join the club as soon as he sorts his back pay from Barca and it must be a minimum of £XXX other wise he will stick it out (as he is entitled to). We are three days away from the season start and 4 weeks from the close of the window. There must come a point though where we either stick or twist. Stick as in no alternative for FDJ and we buy him in another window (same way Liverpool did with VVD) or twist and we increase the offer and salary to futher compensate for his back pay. I doubt it will be the latter. The other option is we get another player but if we are backing ETH and he doesn't want him, then the new set up is no different to the old one

My opinion is if it means this summer is a bit more short term pain so we don't get took for a ride and we can then for what of a better word enjoy future windows then I will take it. I read some reports that when we enquired about Nunez, we were instantly quoted a higher figure both on fee and salary compared to Liverpool and we walked away. I am encouraged by these kind of reports. We have often criticised Woodward for completing mind boggling deals but we cant have our cake and eat it, as frustrating as it is for us all.

Closing note, even if FDJ is the marquee, game changer, all or nothing player, the fee has been agreed. There is no reason why Arnold and Murtogh cannot pursue the other targets assumuing the budget is there.
I am also interested to see what EtH can get from some of the players we already have and I do believe some will be surprised just how much difference having him and his coaching unit will make on the squad.

That said given we’ve lost Greenwood and Cavani I find it odd that we’ve not sought to bring a forward in.

I think we will be active in the last few weeks of the window personally and if it means we get what we need I have no issue with it.
 

TheReligion

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I think the powers to be at United should base their transfer strategy on what’s posted in the Caf.
Judging by many of the replies people like to complain but actually have no idea as to what they’d like the club to do.
 

AndySmith1990

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Judging by many of the replies people like to complain but actually have no idea as to what they’d like the club to do.
Why would we know what to do? We aren't professional scouts or managers or directors. We can clearly see that how the club operate is less than ideal, but that doesn't mean we have the answers for how to successfully run a football club.
 

VidaRed

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Before a player puts pen to paper months of negotiation takes place between the player and the club and also with the selling club. When clubs sign players early in the window it means they've already been working on it before the transfer window even opened. We on the other hand start negotiations with the opening of the transfer window, suffice it to say we are mugs.
 

TheReligion

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Why would we know what to do? We aren't professional scouts or managers or directors. We can clearly see that how the club operate is less than ideal, but that doesn't mean we have the answers for how to successfully run a football club.
The OP gives different options and is simply a discussion about what approach people would prefer as both have their pros and cons.
 

r3idy

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I am also interested to see what EtH can get from some of the players we already have and I do believe some will be surprised just how much difference having him and his coaching unit will make on the squad.

That said given we’ve lost Greenwood and Cavani I find it odd that we’ve not sought to bring a forward in.

I think we will be active in the last few weeks of the window personally and if it means we get what we need I have no issue with it.
Agree with you and I don't believe this squad is as bad as last seasons performance or position suggest.

The loss of Greenwood and Cavani is compounded by CR7 situation. A CF should have been an urgent consideration independnt of FDJ.
 

Wing Attack Plan R

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I’m interested to see what the consensus is here from fans as I see a lot of mixed opinions.

Everyones ideal window is to get your top targets in early, within budget and in good time to settle with the squad.

In reality though, and as with any business deals, time itself can play a huge part so often the bigger deals can only happen when deadlines shorten, clubs become pressured and a game of poker takes place.

So in terms of the club where do you stand on this?

Should it be criticised for engaging in poker so as to try and get the best players and the best deals?

Or should the approach have been very much get what we can done early and if not move on to a different player?
The latter. Preseason, team cohesion, morale, showing an aggressive hand in the market: all that would set us up better for this season. Instead, we are half-baked, unfocused, flat footed, and woefully short of starting XI players of the required level. Being thrifty suits only the accountants.
 

TheReligion

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Agree with you and I don't believe this squad is as bad as last seasons performance or position suggest.

The loss of Greenwood and Cavani is compounded by CR7 situation. A CF should have been an urgent consideration independnt of FDJ.
Yes I agree with that.

I do also thing Ten Hag potentially wanted to look at what he actually has to work with which is why we may be active in the last few weeks of the window.

We are now starting to see players go out on loan like Telles and think there’s going to be more movement in and out shortly.
 

Rams

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Judging by many of the replies people like to complain but actually have no idea as to what they’d like the club to do.
To be fair the transfer policy has been somewhat amateurish until last fall when they got rid of Solskjaer & Woodward, the club seemed as clueless as the average poster on a football forum.
 

TheReligion

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The latter. Preseason, team cohesion, morale, showing an aggressive hand in the market: all that would set us up better for this season. Instead, we are half-baked, unfocused, flat footed, and woefully short of starting XI players of the required level. Being thrifty suits only the accountants.
Fair enough mate. You’ve at least given a clear answer!
 

red thru&thru

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The whole set up is new, on the footballing front. Let's give it time. Best to assess next year.
 

Rams

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Before a player puts pen to paper months of negotiation takes place between the player and the club and also with the selling club. When clubs sign players early in the window it means they've already been working on it before the transfer window even opened. We on the other hand start negotiations with the opening of the transfer window, suffice it to say we are mugs.
There’s a new manager, head of scouting and probably lots more. As you quite rightly post, transfers take time. Targets need to be set and transfers negotiated. It will take until the next window at least for the club to be able to properly target the right players, hence..
 

R'hllor

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Think we should change our approach and push our focus on free agents market, make a list for each year, hire some shady pricks and send them out there to whisper in ears of future free agents, no transfer fee headache when we are in general clueless and free agency is more familiar to us because it also exist in world of player "value" and franchise.
 

r3idy

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There’s a new manager, head of scouting and probably lots more. As you quite rightly post, transfers take time. Targets need to be set and transfers negotiated. It will take until the next window at least for the club to be able to properly target the right players, hence..
Thats quite a good point.. When you consider we were interviewing candidates for the manager as late as AprIl, both with very different footballing styles and philosophies, City and Liverpool were tying up deals for Halland and Nunez respectively.
 

Klean

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United needs to inject quality in some positions and depth in others. If they want players badly, then they have a tendency to overspend for players. If they play the long game (ie De Jong) then they are criticized for not "getting business done early." The reality is there are more teams now that do not need to sell players (versus 10-15 years ago) due to the obscene amount of money in the sport now. For years we all complained about the "United Tax" and now when the club attempts to fight it, they are criticized for not being quick enough. Some people are also fickle and impatient as well and think buying a player is like buying them on FIFA or Football Manager.
 

Superunknown

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I’m interested to see what the consensus is here from fans as I see a lot of mixed opinions.

Everyones ideal window is to get your top targets in early, within budget and in good time to settle with the squad.

In reality though, and as with any business deals, time itself can play a huge part so often the bigger deals can only happen when deadlines shorten, clubs become pressured and a game of poker takes place.

So in terms of the club where do you stand on this?

Should it be criticised for engaging in poker so as to try and get the best players and the best deals?

Or should the approach have been very much get what we can done early and if not move on to a different player?
My opinion is that you identify what the big, glaring weaknesses are and you get those addressed first. Really, they should be done early and in time for the first game. The window has been open since 10th June, so this is...almost 2 months. No real reason why you can't get your priority targets during that time, in time for the first round of fixtures, in order to maximise points. I can't really understand why anyone would think it's wise to start the season not having addressed those big weaknesses, especially if it's going to cost points. E.g. if you know your team needs a striker, waiting until the end of the window when you've already played 4 or 5 games seems utterly absurd.

The issue with playing the long-game is that there's always a "what happens?" if you decide too late on to go after your second, third, or even fourth choice players and run out of time. You end up with nothing, which is also huge. The other issue is that clubs panic and just buy players for the sake of buying players, and all strategy goes out of the window. Yes, sometimes it becomes apparent late in the window that 'x player' is available after all, and there may still be time to get that player. But, to base your entire strategy of just waiting until the window ends seems foolish. Why run the risk of potentially dropping 10 or so points and waiting?

Every now and again, you may get a deal which is more complex and takes longer, as we're seeing with Frenkie. Would I criticise the club right now if we dropped our interest and bought Neves or another player entirely for that position? Yes and no. Yes, I would criticise the club if they are buying players which don't fit the profile, or just any random player who they haven't done their homework on. If the staff think that Neves fits the profile, then that's great. Also, no, I wouldn't criticise the club for feeling frustrated at the length of time it's taken to get the deal done, because it's an area that needs addressing and they can't potentially run the risk of starting the season with that area of the squad not improved upon.

Should the club drop their interest? Imo, we could do with getting two midfielders in. So, there's nothing to say we can't go for both Neves and keep our interest in de Jong - other than it costing a feckload of money. :devil:
 

Roboc7

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The business (or at least more of it)should have been done much earlier, waiting for Ajax to sell multiple players meant missing out on Antony and overpaying for Martinez. Any De Jong alternatives or strikers will have inflated fees now because we’re desperate.

Until the club actually appoint competent people to support the manager we’ll just see a repeat of same failures and incompetence. As soon as this window ends they’ll be loads of PR guff of Murtough and Arnold absolving themselves of blame and making empty promises.
 

C'est Moi Cantona

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Two things that bother me.

We seem quite content to be going into the season still needing 3-4 players like it's quite normal, just as long as we keep saying we will sign 3-4 players before the window closes over and over again.

And the fact some people are happy to go along with the "If we can't get FDJ then we should promote some academy kid rather than sign an alternative" rubbish, like there are no players in between FDJ and Zinedine Iqbal that could improve us.
 

Ayush_reddevil

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Frankly I don’t care about who we sign anymore. I have been disappointed so many times by big names that it doesn’t really matter. Only thing that I wish for is this multi billion pound football club to behave like a professional organisation & to be run like a professional organisation. It’s 2022 and there seems to be zero direction to what we do in the market which is so depressing.
 

Chairman Steve

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Perceived good transfer windows don’t guarantee good seasons and vice versa with bad windows leading to bad seasons.

Remember the summer when we signed RVN and Veron and the season that followed?
Or maybe last year?

Then remember the summer we only bought Carrick and we chucked RVN and Keane out the door? We sure looked like heading into a shite season after that.
 

DanielofLeyland

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Ultimately the strategy has to be based around realistic options that bring value to the club beyond the commercial revenue.

When we go into negotiations with a club we need to know their situation and offer them a clear market value for their player with very little negotiating space. Clubs that deal with United should have an understanding of how far we will be prepared to go but similarly we should pull out of any deal where the other club are not transparent and/or where there are unusual negotiating tactics with the player.

United should always be ambitious as we are one of the worlds most famous clubs but also realistic. At the moment we are not challenging for any major honours. There should be a clear wage structure and bonuses and wage progression etc.

Our negotiatiors should build relationships with clubs and agents throughout the footballing year beyond the transfer season so we have those contacts. To be familiar to somebody is a very strong asset in a negotiating room. We also need a strong network of scouts who can work beyond a current manager to seek out the best talent across the world and relay this the DoF who, in turn, showcases this evidence to the manager who has the final say.

At the moment United are at the starting point. We have new staff in key positions so it will take time to consistently find the correct targets and sign them quickly and within a reasonable budget. Hopefully they all find their feet, learn from prior mistakes, and next season we can see some real progress.

As for this season, work with what we have and don't go mad. FDJ should have been aborted weeks ago as he has shown no desire to want to join us and Barcelona have been difficult to negotiate with. This is not worth our time or energy for a player who, despite his undoubted ability - has never played in the Premier League.