Manchester United has only signed one player this transfer window, while top-four rivals like Chelsea have splashed the cash and even defending champions Liverpool have bagged a couple of star arrivals.
But there’s a key reason more players haven’t walked in through the doors at Old Trafford: the club can’t get rid of the ones it doesn’t want.
Even so, United are closing in on one extremely talented Brazilian arrival. But it’s bad news for West Ham, whose owner is ‘depressed’ over their transfer woes.
All that and more in the latest Premier League Rumour Mill!
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Man United’s great headache
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is keen to offload a number of players to free up cash for more potential transfers – but there’s ‘simply been no interest’ from rivals.
United has only signed Donny van de Beek this summer, are currently chasing Porto’s Brazilian left-back Alex Telles, while rumours continue to swirl over the extended pursuit of Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho.
But transfer expert Dharmesh Sheth told Sky Sports the club’s inability to offload players is impacting recruitment.
“Departures are proving very, very difficult for United and there seems to be a feeling of surprise at Old Trafford that they are unable to get suitable offers for some of their players,” Sheth told Sky Sports.
“For example, Chris Smalling is still training on his own away from the first team, but Roma are yet to meet United’s valuation. By all accounts United want to do business with Roma, who want to do business with United, Smalling was on loan there last season, had a successful spell there and wants to go back.
“All those elements are in place except the one most important element, the fee. It simply cannot be agreed at the moment.”
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It’s not just Smalling who is clearly on the outer.
“You’ve got players like Jesse Lingard, Andreas Pereira, Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo, but there’s simply been no interest,” Sheth said.
“They’ve got the financial muscle to offer big contracts and big wages to players, but that advantage becomes a disadvantage when they’re trying to offload players.
“You could argue United’s current squad has an element of imbalance about it. I was looking at that squad and I’ve counted eight players who could play central defence. It’s clear United want to trim the numbers in that area.”
Whether they can or not could have a major impact on the pursuit of Sancho, who could cost up to £100m ($A180m).
But United are closing in on a reported £18 million ($A32m) to £24.7 million ($A45m) deal for Telles, the 23-year-old Porto fullback who has entered the final year of his contract and is therefore available for a bargain price.
According to reports, Telles has agreed personal terms with United but a transfer fee has not yet been agreed, with United pressuring the Portuguese heavyweights to lower the £36.6m ($A66m) release clause on the player.
“Let’s see what happens” is all Solskjaer could say about transfers today.
West Ham owner ‘depressed’ over transfer fail
West Ham co-owner David Sullivan said he has been left feeling “depressed” after facing strong criticism from fans over a lack of spending in the transfer market.
The signing of Czech midfielder Tomas Soucek, who spent the second half of last season on loan at the club, on a permanent deal for a reported £15 million ($A27m) has been West Ham’s only business of the summer.
David Moyes’s men have lost their opening two games of the Premier League season and the sale of Grady Diangana to West Brom prompted captain Mark Noble to tweet that he was “gutted, angry and sad”.
However, Sullivan pointed to the huge sums West Ham have spent in recent years and the coronavirus pandemic, which is expected to see games played behind closed doors for another six months.
“We’ve got limited funds,” Sullivan told Talksport. “We’ve also got the fact we’ll probably get no gate money for the rest of the season and we’ve got to keep the club afloat and pay wages.
“We’ve chased dreams the last two years and bought a pile of players who haven’t impacted the club, and maybe they will over the coming seasons because there are some damned good players.”
Burnley are believed to have rejected two bids for English international centre-back James Tarkowski, with the Clarets holding out for a reported fee of £40 million ($A72m).
“I cannot say for sure we are going to sign anybody, and as each day passes I get more depressed. There’s no point saying otherwise,” added Sullivan.
“We’ll go a little bit more but we can’t pay double what you value a player at. We haven’t got the money, the club would go bankrupt. These are difficult times.”
Jose ‘convinced’ Alli staying put
Jose Mourinho said he was “convinced” midfielder Dele Alli will still be at Tottenham when the transfer window closes next month, challenging the England international to prove his worth.
The midfielder, who has been left out of the past two games, has been linked with a loan move to Paris Saint-Germain in recent days.
But he will travel to North Macedonia for Thursday’s Europa League third-round qualifying clash against Shkendija.
When asked if he expected Alli to stay, Mourinho told Sky Sports on Wednesday: “I believe, I can even say I am convinced, that he will be.”
The Portuguese added in a press conference previewing the game: “I always told (you) that he will have his opportunities, that (there’s) no problem at all to have him and, like every other player, performances are very important.
“He’s coming, he has a chance to play and it will be important for him to perform. It will be important for him and every other player, when the squad becomes competitive in many positions. It’s important for every player on the pitch to have an answer and perform.”