Manchester United have spent more than £1 billion ($1.2bn) in transfer fees since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013, with Erik ten Hag now embarking on the latest squad overhaul this summer. The Dutchman has already recruited Lisandro Martinez and Tyrell Malacia for a combined £62m ($75m), with Christian Eriksen arriving as a free agent.
More money will likely be spent before the close of the summer transfer window, with Ten Hag hoping to sign Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong and Ajax winger Antony to strengthen a squad that has made an embarrassing start to the new Premier League season.
It is staggering that United remain a club in crisis, given how cash has been splashed over the past nine years.
Indeed, once performance-related add-ons are factored in, their base outlay on recruitment currently stands at £1.008bn ($1.218bn) on 42 different players.
And it is a measure of their spending post-Ferguson that not one of his signings feature in their 15 most expensive transfers.
More importantly, it is a sign of the amount of money wasted over the span of nearly a decade without the Premier League title – and five years since they last won a trophy.
New chief executive Richard Arnold has to end that period of shambolic transfer dealings – and the mantra of his first summer window has been to spend wisely.
Only time will tell how United’s latest reboot works out but, as this list proves, money is no guarantee of success...