Gary Neville has launched a scathing attack on Manchester United, labelling their pursuit of Jadon Sancho as “embarrassing” and claiming Ole Gunnar Solskjaer faces an “impossible” task to win the Premier League.
Sancho was Manchester United’s No.1 target this summer, but a long drawn out transfer fiasco ended with United refusing to muster the £108million Borussia Dortmund were asking for.
Donny van de Beek remains the only outlay so far this summer, with Edinson Cavani thought to be close to completing a move.
With rivals Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea securing the signings they needed, Neville has criticised the naivety of his former club, which he claims could cost Solskjaer his job.
“I just don’t think they’re smart enough and wise enough and agile enough in the market,” Neville told Off The Ball.
“I was reading that Liverpool have accepted a bid for Rhian Brewster for £24m from Sheffield United. Liverpool aren’t just buying smart, they’re selling smart.
“I look at Chelsea and I think they buy smart, they seem to sell smart over the last 15 to 20 years.
“City spend a lot of money but they seem to get deals done, whereas United just don’t seem to be able to get the deals done. Even with Harry Maguire last year, it dragged on right the way to the end, Sancho this year. They don’t seem to be able to get deals over the line, they don’t get things done efficiently or quietly.
“Liverpool announced [Diogo] Jota and Thiago [Alcantara] – I know Thiago had been linked for a bit – but it’s done at reasonably prices, £27m and £40m, no hundreds so I just think they’re not smart enough.
“They’re being outwitted in the market by the other clubs and if you lose recruitment you don’t win the league, it’s as simple as that. You can have a great coach but if you don’t get the right players you’re not going to win the league.
“The Sancho thing is embarrassing. It’s been going on now for fourth months. It’s embarrassing, that.
“And then to put a bid in that gets rejected… the smart clubs, they have deals sorted behind the scenes, the agents are working hard, club officials are agreed on things and when the bids goes in it gets accepted, it’s done.
“Who puts bids in nowadays that aren’t accepted? That doesn’t happen that often. Very rarely.
“Generally clubs have the deal sorted, the agents knows what the player’s getting, the player knows what the club are getting, the club knows what the other club are getting. I just don’t understand it at all, it’s not great. That’s why I’ve been critical.
“Ole, for me, has a period of time to win the league. He’s been there one and a half seasons and this is his third season.
“Will he be expected to win the league this season? No. But maybe next season in his fourth he’ll have to win the league.
“He can’t win the league, it’s impossible to win the league against the Liverpool team this year unless he gets three or four players that takes him towards it.
“So essentially your tying the manager’s hands behind his back if you’re not giving him the players he needs to win the league and yet you’re setting him the target of winning the league.”
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