Manchester United update details reasons behind failed move for Watford ace

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The summer transfer window has finally closed and for Manchester United it was a bit of a disaster.

After finishing third in the Premier League last term the hope was that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side could kick on this term and close the gap on the top two.

Based on their transfer activity that seems unlikely.

Donny van de Beek's arrival signalled the start of an exciting summer after arriving from Ajax, however the Red Devils failed to follow that up with the calibre of signing that supporters demanded.

Alex Telles, Edinson Cavani, Facundo Pellistri and Amad Diallo all arrived at Old Trafford, but these deals were merely consolation after being heavily linked with a move for Jadon Sancho all summer.

The Borussia Dortmund star wasn't the only player linked with the club though, with Ismaila Sarr also a potential target.

The Watford man was keen to move on after suffering relegation from the Premier League - a situation that United were keen to take advantage of.

However Solskjaer's side were unable to strike a deal for the talented winger as they faced competition from Crystal Palace and Liverpool.

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Described by Nigel Pearson as 'a real match-winner', Sarr looks set to stay at Vicarage Road until the January transfer window at the earliest, with The Athletic claiming that United were adamant that they wanted the 22-year-old on a loan deal rather than a permanent.

The Athletic wrote: "Crystal Palace saw an offer worth an initial £25 million for the 22-year-old knocked back on Friday as time ticked down towards the domestic transfer deadline and, with little prospect of striking a compromise over a fee, opted against returning with an improved bid for his services ahead of the 5pm cut-off.

"Sarr would have considered a switch to Selhurst Park but, with no agreement reached between the clubs, has made clear his commitment to Watford."

They added: "The most eye-catching of Sarr’s suitors were Liverpool and Manchester United, though realistically, the prospect of a deal being concluded to either club petered out relatively soon after talks began.

"Watford made clear to United on international deadline day earlier this month that they were seeking an initial payment of £20 million, with a further £15 million to be paid next season and a final £10 million instalment due in 2022-23.

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"It is thought further add-ons may also have been applicable in relation to performance targets.

"Yet United were keener to secure the player on loan and, when that prospect was discussed, resisted Watford’s stipulation that the £20 million fee would have been due at the end of the current campaign regardless of whether Sarr was to go on and make his switch permanent."

GIVEMESPORT'S Phil Spencer says...

Manchester United fans are pretty aggrieved about the summer transfer window, and who can blame them?

The club had the opportunity to really kick on and challenge for the Premier League title but they simply didn't capitalise.

As a result Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Arsenal have all strengthened to the point where they're arguably better equipped for the season ahead.

United need to finish in the top four and so the board will be praying that they have enough to see off their competition this term, otherwise even more questions will surely need to be asked of the club's recruitment strategy.

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