Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over as Manchester United manager from Jose Mourinho in December 2018 and was astonished to discover the club’s pre-existing transfer policy
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was aghast to discover Manchester United refused to scout players from European rivals after taking the reins from Jose Mourinho, according to reports.
The Norwegian was appointed caretaker manager following Mourinho’s sacking in December 2018 and took over on a permanent basis three months later.
Solskjaer’s tenure was partly characterised by mixed success in the transfer market, with Bruno Fernandes proving to be a great signing while the likes of Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Donny Van de Beek have failed to live up to their huge price tags.
However, the 48-year-old felt the vast majority of the club’s issues with recruitment existed under his predecessor, chief among which was the reluctance to pursue stars contracted to the continent’s biggest clubs.
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That is according to The Athletic, which claims Old Trafford chiefs were frequently opposed to sending scouts to monitor players at Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, as well as other European giants.
The report adds this was the case last summer before United eventually decided to sign Raphael Varane from Los Blancos for a fee in the region of £40million.
Ed Woodward, who left his post as executive vice-chairman at the start of February, is said to have preferred his scouts to target promising youngsters at other, lesser clubs.
It remains to be seen how this transfer policy will evolve in the coming months as Richard Arnold, Woodward’s successor as chief executive, and football director John Murtough take the club forwards.
Ralf Rangnick will also help to mould the way United operate in the transfer market as he leaves his role as interim manager to take up a two-year consultancy this summer.
Inevitably, on-pitch results will heavily impact the form the Red Devils’ business takes this summer, with Champions League qualification a necessity for attracting the greatest talents.
A poor run of form since the turn of the year has damaged United’s hopes of securing a top-four finish in the Premier League, with West Ham, Arsenal, Tottenham and Wolves also involved in the competitive race.
Failing to qualify for Europe’s premier competition would hinder Rangnick in his pursuit of a new midfielder, which is believed to be the priority area for recruitment ahead of next season.
Leicester ace Youri Tielemans is being monitored with a view to a £40million bid, but the Belgian may favour a move to one of his other suitors – such as Liverpool or Arsenal – if United cannot offer him the chance to play in the Champions League.