Former Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has named the likes of Harry Kane, Declan Rice, and Erling Harland as some of the big name transfer targets he requested but missed out on during his time in charge at Old Trafford.
Kane has since left Tottenham for Bayern Munich, while Rice moved from West Ham to Arsenal this summer, and Haaland is playing in Manchester but for United’s bitter rivals City.
Moises Caicedo and Jude Bellingham are other names mentioned by Solskjaer in his interview with The Athletic, and they were two other world class talents who made big moves this summer.
Caicedo shone at Brighton before moving to Chelsea, while Bellingham has made a superb start to life at Real Madrid since his move from Borussia Dortmund.
It seems clear that any of these players could have had a hugely positive impact at United if they’d moved at any point in the last few years, but Red Devils fans will just have to be left wondering about what could have been.
“Now, most teams have money or even if they don’t, they don’t need to sell,” Solskjaer told The Athletic.
“Back then, Wayne (Rooney) and Cristiano were the best young players and we signed them. Now, United can’t just go and buy Evan Ferguson. We couldn’t buy the players I mentioned to the club.
“Erling Haaland, before he made his Salzburg debut. Declan Rice, who wouldn’t have cost what he did in the summer. We discussed Moises Caicedo, but we felt we needed players ready for there and then. Brighton are very good at letting players come from abroad and find their feet for a year and a half. At United, you don’t have that luxury and that has cost the club loads of players.
“We wanted Jude Bellingham badly — he’s a Man United player, but I respect he chose Dortmund. That was probably sensible. But it’s why I respect Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Dan James and Jadon. Young players prepared to come into a team that wasn’t 100 per cent there like it was when I arrived.
“I would have signed Kane every day of the week and my understanding was that he wanted to come. But the club didn’t have the budget with the financial constraints from Covid-19, there was no bottomless pit.”