Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Ten players Man Utd failed to sign in the summer transfer window & how they’re faring this season

Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong celebrates after scoring against Cadiz in La Liga.

Manchester United signed six players during the summer transfer window – but they still missed out on some of their top transfer targets. 

Erik ten Hag looked to address the weaknesses in United’s squad by signing Tyrell Malacia, Lisandro Martinez, Casemiro, Christian Eriksen, Antony and Martin Dubravka.

United were still linked with hundreds of other players in the gossip columns and some of the rumours had some substance to them.

We’ve taken a look at 10 players that were heavily linked with United in the summer transfer window and how they’ve fared this season.

Sergino Dest

Having worked with Dest at Ajax, Ten Hag wanted to sign the right-back from Barcelona on a season-long loan deal.

But United football director John Murtough reportedly scuppered the move by backing Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Dest then joined AC Milan on a temporary deal.

The USA international is yet to start a single game for Milan and has made three substitute appearances. He also had a disastrous Serie A debut, conceding a penalty just moments after coming off the bench in Milan’s 2-1 defeat to Napoli.

Jurrien Timber

While United spent £56.7million on Martinez in the summer, they initially tried to sign his centre-back partner at Ajax.

Timber looked set to reunite with Ten Hag, but he signed a new contract at Ajax after former United manager Louis van Gaal reportedly warned him against a move to Old Trafford.

The 21-year-old has been an ever-present for Alfred Schreuder’s side, starting all of their first 10 games in 2022/23. He’s maintained his impressive form from last season and has helped Ajax keep five clean sheets in those games.

Ajax defender Jurrien Timber

Frenkie de Jong

After becoming United’s manager, Ten Hag immediately identified De Jong as a priority transfer target.

United reportedly reached an agreement with Barcelona and were prepared to pay a guaranteed fee of £63million, but the midfielder wasn’t willing to make the move and decided to stay at Camp Nou.

He’s found himself in and out of the Barcelona team at the start of the 2022/23 season, starting four games and making four substitute appearances.

The Netherlands international has impressed in a more defensive role but still scored the opening goal in a 4-0 win over Cadiz.

Adrien Rabiot

United eventually started to look at alternatives to De Jong and agreed to pay Juventus an initial £15million for Rabiot.

But United refused to meet his wage demands and abandoned their pursuit of the France international, who remained at Juventus.

He was welcomed back into the fold by Max Allegri and earned plenty of plaudits for his performance in their 1-1 draw with Roma. But the midfielder has only made four appearances ths season and has missed five games through injury or suspension.

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic

United reportedly considered making a £57.5million bid for Milinkovic-Savic but a move to Old Trafford never materialised.

“I don’t know what to tell you about the transfer market, that’s for my agents and the club to think about,” he said after staying at Lazio. “I’m here with a smile on my face and I’m happy.”

He’s enjoyed a brilliant start to 2022/23 and has registered six direct goal contributions in seven Serie A appearances this season, including a sensational assist in their 1-1 draw with Sampdoria.

The 27-year-old also came off the bench in two Europa League games and scored Lazio’s only goal in a 5-1 defeat to FC Midtjylland.

Moises Caicedo

Alongside Rabiot and Milinkovic-Savic, United also looked at Brighton’s Caicedo before deciding to sign Casemiro instead.

The Ecuador international produced a brilliant performance against United on the opening weekend of the season, helping the Seagulls record their first league win at Old Trafford.

Caicedo has continued to be one of Brighton’s best and most consistent performers, and he scored his first goal of the season in their 5-2 win over Leicester City.

Cody Gakpo

United reportedly agreed personal terms with Gakpo but pulled out of the deal after paying £85million for Antony.

“Manchester United had reported at the beginning of the transfer window,” he told PSV TV after the transfer window shut. “We were waiting for that a bit.

“The signals became more and more positive and at a certain point I thought it might fall in that direction. That option faded a bit and completely last week. We worked the whole window towards it.”

The winger was also linked with moves to Leeds United and Southampton but ultimately decided to stay at PSV Eindhoven.

Despite the uncertainty surrounding his future, he has taken his game up another level and has registered 10 goals and nine assists in 13 appearances this season.

The 23-year-old is currently averaging a direct goal contributon every 55.3 minutes and will undoubtedly be the subject of more transfer speculation in January.

Benjamin Sesko

After Cristiano Ronaldo expressed his desire to leave Old Trafford, United looked for possible replacements and held talks with Red Bull Salzburg over the signing of Sesko.

But RB Leipzig, who have a partnership with Salzburg, won the race for his signature and agreed on a deal to sign the Slovenia international in the 2023 summer transfer window.

The 19-year-old striker registered five goals and three assists in the Austrian Bundesliga last season but already has four goals and two assists after nine league games in 2022/23.

He also scored for Salzburg in the OFB-Cup but failed to find the back of the net in Champions League games against AC Milan and Chelsea.

Victor Osimhen

During the final few days of the transfer window, Jorge Mendes unsuccessfully attempted to negotiate a stunning swap deal with Cristiano Ronaldo and Napoli forward Victor Osimhen.

The Nigeria international remained at Napoli and started the 2022/23 season in impressive form, registering a goal and assist against Hellas Verona on the opening weekend before scoring against Monza a week later.

But he has failed to score in his last four appearances and has also missed three games due to a muscle injury.

Marko Arnautovic

One of the most surprising stories from the summer transfer window saw Arnautovic become the subject of a £7.2million bid from United.

Ten Hag’s side were reportedly preparing a second bid for the Bologna forward but withdrew their interest after a furious backlash from United fans.

The 33-year-old has since shown United what they’re missing out on by registering six goals and an assist in seven league appearances this season, and he is currently the top goalscorer in Serie A.

READ MORE: Five potential transfer targets Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag could look at in January: Dumfries, Toney…