Manchester United Staring Down Wasted Window of No Transfer Activity


Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could be playing it coy while business is being done behind the scenes. Or, as they always say “the easiest thing to remember is the truth,” and he’s just telling it like it is.

“I haven’t got any updates for you on transfers, I think it was a wasted question,” Solskjaer told a reporter at his news conference today ahead of the EFL Cup. “I haven’t got anything to say now.” United have been strong linked with a move for Sporting CP midfielder Bruno Fernandes. 

The deal was supposedly on, until it was reportedly off, and then back on again, but now it’s not going to happen. United’s failure to get this deal done, when it was there to be had led their most recent former manager, Jose Mourinho, to score comedic points at their expense.

With no Fernandes, it’s also looking like no deals at all the January transfer window, which is completely unacceptable given the current situation of the team. They have a dire need for midfielders, don’t have a true back-up right back and being thin in attack degenerated into having very little in attack once leading scorer Marcus Rashford went down with injury for the long term.

Solskjaer went on to discuss the perils of doing business in the January transfer window (he does have some points there, Sir Alex Ferguson is notorious for heavily criticizing it), and then came the big reveal-

Alexis Sanchez will return this summer when his Inter Milan loan spell concludes!

“Well, we’ve got players here we are working hard to get back and if there is something out there then the club are pursuing that and looking at it. Of course, it is the difficult window, it has always been,” Solskjaer said.

“I can’t remember how many good ‘uns or deals we’ve brought in January. Henrik [Larsson] was good, Nemanja [Vidic] and Patrice [Evra] were two good ones. Henrik as a loan. Alexis… It is hard because some of the clubs don’t want to lose their players. Alexis will come back in the summer and prove you all wrong.”

Uhm, yeah, okay, we’ll see about that one with Sanchez. The Norwegian also said we won’t be seeing any more player departures this window: “At the moment it doesn’t look like it, no.”

When you’re standing still, you’re actually falling behind.

And when you’re already out of the top four to begin with, well, yikes! United are stuck in the mud, and all they’re doing is further spinning their wheels but going nowhere.

Manchester Derby EFL Cup semifinal leg 2/2 (City leads 3-1 on aggregate) FYIs

Kickoff: Jan. 29, 7:45 pm, City of Manchester Stadium

Team news for both sides: go to this link

Starting XI Predictions:  City  United 

TV: Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Football

Key facts/stats: Antony Martial loves the League Cup, as he featured in the competition a dozen times and scored five goals.

Prediction: Manchester City 1, Manchester United 0

Without Pogba and Rashford, the gap between neighbors is even more significant. City will likely coast, and still get through without too much resistance

 Paul M. Banks runs The Sports, which is partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No,  I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

You can follow Banks, a former writer for NBC and Chicago on Twitter here and his cat on Instagram at this link.

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