Paul Merson has never been one to hide his opinion
Manchester United have not had a particularly busy transfer window. They have signed Diogo Dalot, Fred and Lee Grant, but have failed to bring in a central defender despite being linked with both Toby Alderweireld and Harry Maguire all summer.
With more competition at the top these days, United are finding it more difficult to persuade top players to join the club over their rivals.
On the Sky Sports News panel this afternoon, Paul Merson expressed his bemusement at United’s lack of pull despite their status as the ‘biggest club in the world’.
“This is Man United, surely they’ve got to make it happen,” he said.
“When Sir Alex Ferguson was manager it happened. How many times did you sit on here when Sir Alex was manager and no-one came or they couldn’t get it over the line?” he asked the rest of the panel.
“Something’s going on,” he included.
It certainly seems the case that the world’s top players would rather join Manchester City and Liverpool than United at the moment, which might have something to do with the dull brand of football they have played in recent years.
United have spent somewhere in the region of £400m since José Mourinho took over at Old Trafford, with very little to show for it but a poundshop treble.
The Red Devils are set for another disappointing season unless they show a significant improvement on the pitch, but even then it is extremely unlikely that they will dethrone their noisy neighbours Manchester City.