Manchester United transfer antics slammed after failed Darwin Nunez transfer


'Manchester United only move to sign players because they don't want them playing for rival clubs?'

Former Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler has criticised Manchester United’s transfer policy following Darwin Nunez's snub of the Old Trafford club to favour a move to Liverpool.

Jurgen Klopp made Benfica striker Nunez his top transfer target this summer and the striker's announcement as Liverpool player is expected to be officially made soon.

United showed interest in Nunez but had their bid turned down by Benfica. It's understood that the Red Devils made a £66m bid 'that influenced an increase in Benfica's initial asking price from Liverpool'.

And Fowler believes it may have been a deliberate attempt to stop the Reds.

"With the record signing of Darwin Nunez looking all but done for Liverpool, what fascinates me is the presence of Manchester United amid the negotiations," Fowler told The Mirror .

"I can guarantee the Anfield people would have been uneasy with that, as it has the potential to push up not only the price, but the wages too. No agent worth his salt wouldn’t use it to get a bigger contract, let’s be clear.

"But United being there in the background - for me - highlights just why this could so easily be another masterstroke for Liverpool in the transfer market, and it’s a point that is so often overlooked in the desperation to see new faces, new signings, new excitement.

"I don't want to be cruel, but United could have written a book on how not to do transfers in recent seasons. Signing players just because you don’t want them to go to a rival? Check and double check. Cristiano has done his job well enough, but signing him because he could have gone to City? That just had disaster written all over it. And the same with Alexis Sanchez. No, not the same, 10 times worse.

"That deal highlights everything that has been wrong at Old Trafford. How much did it cost? About 500 grand a week in wages, which I saw somewhere cost them about 20 million quid a goal…!

"Much, much worse though, was that it didn't just break United’s pay structure, it shattered it. That’s how a goalkeeper can end up on £400,000 a week, and a midfielder like Pogba who couldn’t even get in the team half the time on even more.

"And that's where I think Liverpool have got it right. I can understand there are many, many people questioning why they’re letting Sadio Mane go, asking ‘why not give him the wages he wants?’ It's the same with Salah too. But what impresses me about the thinking at Anfield, is nothing is done in haste. Everything is analysed, decisions are made with planning over years, not months.

"There was clearly a calculation they could get Mane and Salah to play this season without agreeing new contracts and NOT down tools. It worked, it has been one of their best ever seasons. But there have been calculations. If they give Mane the money they have to give it to Salah, and then van Dijk and Alisson and everyone else too.

"You can see the thinking with Darwin Nunez. Mane is 30, he’s 22. Selling Mane could raise around £40m, and Nunez cost £80m. BUT. And this is a significant but. He’ll most likely be on less than half the wages Mane was asking for. Which over the course of a five-year contract could save them ALL of that extra £40m. On top of that, it doesn’t break the wage structure.

"Looking at it that way, replacing a 30-year-old with a 22-year-old whilst keeping your financial house in order is a good win for Liverpool…and it’s something United must follow."

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