It's been a rocky start to life as Manchester United manager for Louis van Gaal, whose summer recruitment pledge will only truly get underway when his duties as Netherlands boss come to an end after this summer's World Cup.
Despite having spent close to no time in his new English headquarters, the Red Devils' tactician has learned early on just which targets he certainly won't be making moves for in the coming months.
United's lack of European football means that a lot of top talents are likely to reject the option of a move to the Theatre of Dreams right now, and this week's latest transfer updates share a similar tinge of disappointment.
Patrick Roberts, Fulham
Quickly making strides on both the club and international scene, Patrick Roberts is the talk of the town after thrusting England's youngsters to victory at the European Under-17 Championship.
The Fulham attacker has been linked with a move away from Craven Cottage as a result of his club's relegation to the Championship, and the Mirror's Dave Kidd says the West Londoners are demanding £15 million for his services.
TalkSPORT's Adrian Durham admired the 17-year-old's direct approach to the game en route to European silverware:
England player running with the ball, taking players on and hitting the back of the net. Fulham's @patrick7roberts for Eng u17s. Quality— Adrian Durham (@talkSPORTDrive) May 19, 2014
“All the players will look at Ross Barkley and think: that could be me. Four years ago he was sitting in their position, playing in this competition. Now he’s going to a World Cup in Brazil. Absolutely, he can inspire them.”
Toni Kroos, Bayern Munich
Toni Kroos has long been tipped as a target for Manchester United, and that speculation has only been encouraged in the days since ex-Bayern Munich boss Van Gaal came to the helm of the English giants.
However, what looked like firm interest has quickly transpired into a "non-issue," according to the player himself, who spoke to German newspaper BILD (h/t Independent):
"I am expecting to play for Bayern Munich next season. There was a lot of speculation, but Manchester is and was not an issue. At this point in time I am fully focused on preparations for the 2014 FIFA World Cup."
ESPN's Musa Okwonga ponders whether or not Van Gaal will come to regret the decision, which was alleged to be his, in not going for Kroos' signature:
Eek. Van Gaal's apparently turned down Kroos, one of the most tactically intelligent players in the world? Hope this isn't his Thiago moment— Musa Okwonga (@Okwonga) May 22, 2014
The Bayern product would seem a suitable fit for what United need in their core right now, but it seems the Dutch tactician will not be reuniting with his former charge this summer.
Arjen Robben, Bayern Munich
And the cutting of Allianz Arena ties doesn't stop there, either, after Arjen Robben publicly declared his intentions not to move to Old Trafford.
Manchester United? That's not an option. I am staying at Bayern Munich. Period. And I cannot imagine that Bayern would want to sell me. I have only just renewed my contract and we are happy with each other. It would have been a different story had I been unhappy.
I would have been open to a move then, because I had a great time under Van Gaal at Bayern. He has been very important for my career. However, fact is that I am very happy at my current club.
FourFourTwo writer Elko Born provides further comment from the 30-year-old:
Robben: 'it would have been different if I wasn't completely happy. Then I'd be up for it, I had a great time with Van Gaal at Bayern'— Elko Born (@Elko_B) May 24, 2014
Robben can't be blamed for wanting to remain as part of Pep Guardiola's project in Bavaria, and Van Gaal at least now knows his former club aren't likely to be of much use in supplying reinforcements this summer.