For years under Sir Alex Ferguson and his trusted Chief Executive David Gill, Manchester United were hugely successful in the transfer market.
Players such as Rio Ferdinand, Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie are testament to this.
However, under the astute leadership of David Moyes, United haven't been the formidable beast in the market that they once were.
One of the main reasons for this is the fact that Moyes seemingly plumps for unrealistic targets, perhaps as a signal of intent to the other club's vying for the Red Devils' Premier League crown, but this is detrimental to the club as a whole.
The embarrassing way United went after Cesc Fabregas provoked laughter all over Europe, and they seem in danger of repeating that with the reported interested in fellow Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta.
Of course, Manchester United are a club who are always after the best players in the world. But following up an approach for one indispensable Barca star by going after another doesn't send the right message. It is quite frankly a waste of time.
In order to strengthen, Moyes must be realistic and target other top players who are more likely to want to leave their current surroundings. Attempts to prise someone away from the Nou camp usually yields minimal success at best.
Instead, the Scot should be clever in his dealings in order to avoid a repeat performance in which the Champions' only acquisition came in the form of £27.5 million Marouane Fellaini.
Admittedly, January is notoriously a tough time to make big money moves as clubs are often reluctant to sell midway through the season.
But United will need to use the window wisely in order to maintain contact with their title rivals who may also seek to strengthen.
If they don't, it will no doubt leave the United faithful longing for the return of Ferguson and Gill.