David Moyes could soon find himself a figure of disappointment to fans of both Manchester United and Everton, after his transfer dealings—or lack thereof—were drawn into sharp focus on Friday.
Moyes angered his former club earlier in the week by making a “derisory” offer for Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines, for which he has been labelled “despicable” by Toffees legend Neville Southall.
The United manager has now hinted he may have to concede defeat in all attempts to land a new signing at Old Trafford, which is sure to frustrate his new fanbase. Graeme Yorke of the Daily Mail provides Moyes’ latest quotes:
There is a possibility we won’t sign anyone. We have targeted certain quality players so we will see.
There is a need for me to sign players. But there's no pressure. If the right players are available, great. If not, we will encourage our own young players.
Moyes has linked United to plenty of high-profile names this summer, raising expectations with moves for Thiago Alcantara (who joined Bayern Munich), Cesc Fabregas (who opted to stay at Barcelona) as well as the Everton duo of Fellaini and Baines.
However, with 10 days remaining of the transfer window United appear to be a distance away from agreeing a fee with Everton, who have shown disgust at the £28 million offered for their players.
Legendary former ‘keeper Southall has accused Moyes of showing total disrespect towards his old club, as reported by the Daily Mail.
The joint bid stinks. The way David Moyes has gone about it stinks. The entire world knows Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines are worth a lot more than the £28 million offered and Moyes is disrespecting Everton.
It’s really despicable behaviour towards Everton and disrespectful towards the fans.
Moyes' latest suggestion that he may not sign anybody could well be a ploy to lower the valuations being placed on United’s transfer targets. There has been an air of desperation growing around Old Trafford, but Moyes cut a relaxed figure on Friday.
Will Man United win the league if they fail to sign anybody this summer?
In truth, there are few areas in which the champions need to bolster. At left-back Alex Buttner looks a decent backup to Patrice Evra, while the versatility of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling provides ample cover across the rest of the back four.
In midfield United still have plenty of ingenuity in the likes of Ryan Giggs, Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley and Shinji Kagawa, while the presence of Robin van Persie, Javier Hernandez and Wayne Rooney guarantees goal upfront.
The greatest concern is the strength of their midfield, which is occasionally exposed as being too hospitable—hence the interest in the towering presence of Fellaini.
However, Moyes has made it clear he will not panic buy or overpay for his targets, and it appears he is thick-skinned enough to deal with the consequential anger of the fans.