Gary Neville has slammed the “negligence” of Manchester United in the current transfer window, with the Red Devils told there is “no excuse” for only getting one deal done when they needed “four or five”.
With the clock ticking towards another deadline on October 5, Netherlands international midfielder Donny van de Beek is the only fresh face to have been welcomed to Old Trafford this summer.
Regular rounds of rumours have delivered no signatures on contracts, with the likes of Jadon Sancho, Gareth Bale, Thiago Alcantara and Sergio Reguilon proving to be out of United’s reach.
Neville admits that is not good enough for a team of such stature and ambition, with Ed Woodward and the rest of the Red Devils board told they have “no authority” when it comes to recruitment.
Offering a scathing assessment of business on the red half of Manchester to Sky Sports, Neville said: “Because of what has happened in the last eight years, people have lost their confidence and they have now tried to go the other way in terms of, 'we can't now overpay'.
“You see Liverpool getting a player for £40 million, £25m, you see other clubs do it, [Timo] Werner is quite cheap compared to some of the prices of players you see in the market and United always seem to have to pay top dollar and the people at the club will not like that, almost as though they are easy pickings. And there is a suggestion of that.
“The problem is, they have to find a way to get deals done and they can't get deals done efficiently. And it is negligence not to get the squad in place, they have had six months since March when lockdown was on being able to deliberate, do zoom calls, connect with agents, move things into place.
“There is no excuse really for not getting your transfers done before the start of the season. They need four or five players, so to only get one done… I know Liverpool have only got theirs done in the last couple of days, but there is a feeling they are in control.
“United have got the money - if they can spend £90m-100m on Sancho, they have got the money to do the deals. They have not got the quality or experience of football people within that club, it looks like a convoluted and complex structure, I'm not quite sure where the decisions lie.”
Neville added: “That is the problem Man United have got - they have not got the authority and control in the transfer market. The people who are hearing these words and seeing them, they will not like it. But they have got to hear it, because they are not doing their jobs. The football players on the pitch did not do their jobs, the manager is going to get accused of not doing his job.
“The people in the stands whose job is to put that team on the pitch, build a football team that can win the league and the people in the stand who have been at Man United for eight years now have not had the ability to build a football team that can win the league. And that is a problem, that is your job - to build a football team to win the league and they have not been able to do it. And they have to find a way of doing it quickly as these years are going to drag on.”
Calls for United to further bolster their ranks, starting with another centre-half, have intensified on the back of a forgettable opening to the 2020-21 campaign that saw Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side suffer a 3-1 defeat to Crystal Palace.