Conjure as many conspiracies as you like. The reason behind United's relative absence in the transfer market, following the major departure of Cristiano Ronaldo and the relinquishment of Carlos Tevez, is Sir Alex Ferguson. Arrivals like Antonio Valencia and Chris Smalling, were on the cards well before last summer's transfer dealings, while Michael Owen will be a stop gap between another striker making his presence.
Ferguson has won everything in the game, and has come close to erasing Liverpool's historical domestic dominance by adding United's nineteenth league title. Yes injuries have ravaged United, most notably at the centre of the defence and the centre of midfield.
Vidic and Rio's marriage has been on the rocks thanks to a host of niggling problems and on field indiscipline. Wes Brown, John O'Shea and Jonny Evans continue to crocked, while the absence of Hargreaves and recently Anderson has meant United have lost a lot of spring.
But SAF's stubbornness to spend, which might have been required even with a clean bill of health, is purely down to him now setting his own challenges. He believed and perhaps still has the right to, that his team with now just one attacking superstar in Rooney, can at least conquer domestically. It is not arrogance or egos, but a test that the man has set himself and therefore his players, a test that they appear to have revised well for but might just not be skillful enough to pass.
A Robben, Ribery, Aguero or Villa would have probably seen United in an even better position to the one Chelsea have now, and well on their way to domestic and who knows maybe even European success. But then that would not have been a challenge now would it? Not to Ferguson anyway...