- Manchester united were closely linked with a move for Harry Kane this summer
- They eventually landed the largely untested Rasmus Hojlund for £72million
- Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport’s podcast ‘It’s All Kicking Off!’
Manchester United’s search for a striker this season ultimately saw them land the inexperienced and largely untested Rasmus Hojlund for £72million after missing out on Harry Kane – but he was not the only failed target.
Man United once again invested a large amount into the improvement of their squad this summer, bringing in Andre Onana, Mason Mount, Altan Deyimir, Sofyan Amrabat and Hojlund, all of whom cost a combined £191.2m.
It came in a summer that saw Kane, Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham – three of the best players in the world – move, with United seemingly never close to signing any, despite their long links with Kane.
This perhaps marks their fall from the top-tier of destinations in Europe, no longer able to truly draw the eyes of the best English players in the world.
However, reports from ESPN emerged insinuating that Kane was not the only striker target that they failed to snatch up, with a £50m bid for another Premier League star ‘laughed off’ by their club.
Manchester United spent close to £200million once again in the recent summer transfer window
Rasmus Hojlund was brought in for £72m from Atalanta but is largely untested at the top level
Harry Kane was linked with a move to Old Trafford from Tottenham early in the summer before he joined Bayern Munich
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Evan Ferguson is believed to have been a target for the Red Devils, but their reported approach was considered so wide of the mark that it was thought to have been treated with derision from the Seagulls.
The Republic of Ireland striker has emerged as one of the most promising attacking talents in the Premier League in recent seasons.
He has already been linked with the likes of United and Arsenal at the age of 18 having broken into the first-team at Europa League qualifiers Brighton last term.
This season though he has already started in great form, netting a hat-trick against Newcastle in their 3-1 demolition of the Magpies, as well as a goal against Luton on opening day.
But such is his talent, as well as the nature of the current transfer market, that £50m is perhaps not even half his valuation at the Seagulls, who have seen their brightest youngsters poached for exorbitant fees in recent seasons.
He missed the majority of the game through injury, but Ferguson’s Brighton further hammered home the point – or points – with a 3-1 win at Old Trafford to show that while United have perhaps stagnated, those lower down the pecking order have made up ground.
During the Sir Alex Ferguson era at United, it seemed as though the club was always among the front-runners for the biggest transfer deals of the window, however this rebuttal highlights just how far the club has fallen.
Although they have qualified for the competition a number of times since then, 2008 was the last time they reached the Champions League final, and in the last 11 years they have only reached the last-eight twice.
Evan Ferguson was reportedly the subject of a £50m bid from Man United which was laughed off
Ferguson missed most of the game through injury but came off the bench in United’s 3-1 defeat to Brighton
Erik ten Hag come up against Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Wednesday night
Domestically, too, their dominance has waned in a marked manner, without a Premier League crown in a decade and winning only an FA Cup and two League Cups in that time.
Since their last European triumph, Wednesday night’s Champions League opponents Bayern Munich – who signed Kane for £100m – have won it twice and also racked up 11 Bundesliga titles.
The Bavarians have also managed to assert their dominance in Europe with 16 knockout tie wins – something United have failed to do with just two of their own, and failed to even qualify for four of the previous nine editions.
The game in southern Germany is sure to stand as a stark contrast between the calibre of club that United had been not too long ago, and the distance they have fallen away.
IT’S ALL KICKING OFF!
It’s All Kicking Off is an exciting new podcast from Mail Sport that promises a different take on Premier League football.
It is available on MailOnline, Mail+, YouTube, Apple Music and Spotify.
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Source: Daily Mail Online