If David Moyes was in any doubt as to the magnitude of the task facing him having assumed the managerial reigns at Old Trafford from Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United's often underwhelming start to the new campaign will presumably have brought him quickly up to speed.
Although positive results against the likes of Norwich, Fulham and Premier League leaders Arsenal have temporarily silenced the Scot's seemingly extensive list of critics, the previous sequence of poor performances and unprecedented trauma suffered in the summer transfer window are unlikely to be forgotten anytime soon.
Given Moyes' well-documented failures in that latter area, he must surely be aware that upcoming windows - both in January and next summer - are likely to define his early Manchester United tenure.
Although clearly well-intentioned, the root cause of Moyes' summer failings appeared to be the fact that he was aiming just a little bit too high with his list of potential targets.
What is crucial for him, the club, the media - and indeed the fans - moving forward is that everyone receives a rather heavy dose of realism. Despite the club's considerable stature and reputation, it may well prove to be the case that Manchester United are not able to land some of world football's biggest stars given their recent struggles and somewhat difficult transition into an entirely new era.
Here, GMS looks at three players who have been linked with a move to Manchester United in recent weeks who represent utterly unrealistic targets that Moyes should not waste valuable time pursuing...
Borussia Dortmund star Reus has hardly been out of the gossip columns of late, with reports suggesting that a whole cohort of Premier League title chasers are courting his signature.
Manchester United are of course included among that aforementioned throng, but would Reus consider such a switch at this stage?
While historically United are undoubtedly a 'bigger club', current employers Borussia Dortmund have done tremendously well in recent seasons and have forged a reputation as one of Europe's best sides.
Another current Dortmund star who has been linked with Manchester United recently is German international defender Mats Hummels.
Such a potential deal would appear to make perfect sense, particularly given the Red Devils' struggles at the back during the early stages of 2013/14 that has subsequently seen that famous Old Trafford fear factor reduce dramatically.
Like Reus, though, would Hummels - who faces an extended spell on the sidelines after picking up an injury earlier this week - really see Manchester United as a marked improvement on Dortmund?
Is he not more likely to hold out for a bigger switch to Catalan giants Barcelona, who are also in dire need of defensive reinforcements and are believed to be equally as keen on Hummels?
Perhaps the most laughable rumour involving Manchester United to have circulated in recent times involves Barcelona and Span star Iniesta.
With the 29-year-old's contract at the Camp Nou close to expiring, speculation has been rife that the Premier League champions are monitoring the situation and could be set to capitalise if a new deal can not be struck.
However - and this is certainly not intended to be any slight on United - in the modern footballing climate, Iniesta would surely be mad to consider leaving Barcelona given their ongoing status as one of the best footballing sides that the world has ever seen.
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