It was always going to be tough for David Moyes. Not only was the Scot moving to one of the biggest clubs in the world, he was also replacing arguably the greatest manager the game has ever seen.
As such, he needed to make a spectacular signing to make his mark. But he has only succeeded in making a fool of himself and the Manchester United brand by going after and missing out on a plethora of big name targets.
Let’s take a look at some of his short comings during his time at Old Trafford.
Cesc Fabregas – Having left Arsenal to re-join Barcelona in what he has described as a “dream” move, Fabregas was reportedly unhappy because he was stuck behind Xavi and Iniesta in the Barca rotation.
Such reports convinced Moyes that the Spain international was unsettled enough to consider a move away from Cataluña and to the Premier League champions.
At one point some hope actually crept in when the midfield maestro said he needed time to consider his future, only for him to later declare that he wouldn’t join Manchester United even if they doubled his salary.
He said: "When I arrived, I knew there would be other clubs where I would have earned more money and where I could get more playing time.
"For example, I was making more money at Arsenal. But to join Barca was my dream, and I would not leave even if they [United] offered double my salary."
Thiago Alcantara – Alcantara made it clear that he was not happy languishing on the bench at the Nou Camp and he would look elsewhere for playing time.
That was music to the ears of Manchester United fans because a player of Thiago’s quality was available and there was a need to fill in the midfield. Talk about a hand in glove fit.
Yet the Spaniard chose a reunion with Pep Guardiola even though Bayern Munich already had Bastian Schweinsteiger, Javi Martinez, Toni Kroos as well as new signing Mario Gotze in the middle of the park.
Reports now suggest that Moyes is still determined to bring in a member of the Alcantara family by switching his focus to Thiago’s younger brother, Rafa - aka Rafinha. He is currently on loan at Celta Vigo.
Leighton Baines – Patrice Evra may have played in more games than any other Manchester United player but David Moyes was keen to bring in another left back during the transfer windows. Namely his former Everton recruit Leighton Baines.
However the stubbornness of his former employers denied him a reunion with Baines as the Toffees wanted at least £15million for the 29-year-old.
A future deal is highly unlikely after Baines pledged his future to Everton by agreeing a new four-year- contract.
Plan B was a loan move for Real Madrid’s Fabio Coentrao, but the deal fell through after Carlo Ancelotti had a change of heart.
Ander Herrera – having impressed when Athletic Bilbao and Manchester United met during the Europa League tie in 2011/12 Herrera has been on United’s radar for some time and David Moyes was ready to finally pull the trigger on the move during the summer transfer window.
Unfortunately Bilbao weren’t playing ball and refused to budge on the midfielder’s £30.5 million buy-out clause.
Determined not to be push-overs and yield to irrational demands, the closest Moyes and new Chief Executive Ed Woodward got to that asking price was a £26 million offer, though the Basque club were still refusing to do business.
The story took an interesting turn when “impostors” claiming to be representing Manchester United some how got involved in the negotiations, much to the confusion of both teams.
The Turin trio - Moyes has been spotted at Juventus games on several occasions though it’s still hazy which player he is specifically after. Is it Arturo Vidal, Claudio Marchisio or former United youngster Paul Pogba?
Apparently it’s all three, though he looks set to miss out on at least two of those targets with Vidal signing a new contract until 2018 and Pogba ruling out a return to Old Trafford.
Claudio Marchisio is allegedly surplus to requirement though Juve have already turned down a £20 million January offer from the Red Devils and he has insisted he wants to stay with the old lady for the foreseeable future.
On the upside at least Moyes was able to bring in Marouane Fellaini and Juan Mata. Albeit for a blotted sum and the latter was shunned out with nowhere else to go.
Plus Toni Kroos may yet be an option. The German star’s contract talks with Bayern Munich have stalled, with the European Champions claiming the midfielder is asking for too much. Still, It remains to be seen whether Manchester United is a viable destination in the coming transfer window considering the fact that they can’t guarantee European Football next year.
Nevertheless, if Ed Woodward is to be believed, David Moyes will be able given significant funds to overhaul the team this summer.
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