MANCHESTER UNITED chiefs reportedly blame failed pursuits of Tottenham and Leicester defenders Toby Alderweireld and Harry Maguire on fees demanded by agents, it has been blamed.
Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho craved the signing of another centre-back this summer despite having Phil Jones, Eric Bailly, Victor Lindelof, Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo to call upon.
Ultimately, however, the 55-year-old was left empty-handed. Alderweireld and Maguire, his top targets, both remained at Tottenham and Leicester respectively.
Manchester United have suffered as a result. And their dire displays in recent months has led to talk of Mourinho being axed.
Many fans, though, have vented their fury at the club’s board.
Chants of ‘Jose’s right, the board is s****’ were heard during their recent 3-2 win over Newcastle.
That game started with Mourinho hooking Bailly after just 20 minutes, with the Red Devils two down at the time.
Yet the Manchester Evening News say United chiefs blame agents’ demands for their own shortcomings.
Alderweireld and Maguire were just two names to evade Mourinho and Woodward this summer.
Diego Godin, of Atletico Madrid, had his low £18million release clause triggered on deadline day.
Yet United failed to sign the Uruguay international with the player choosing to remain at the Wanda Metropolitan.
The ageing and waning Jerome Boateng was also tracked.
But his poor performances for Bayern Munich and Germany suggest United dodged a bullet there.
Meanwhile, speaking in August, Chris Sutton expressed a belief that Mourinho didn’t land a defender because Woodward, simply, didn’t trust him.
“Ed Woodward clearly doesn’t trust him [Mourinho] in the transfer market,” he said.
“And, do you know what, he’s been there a couple of years and he’s had time to mould the side.
“It’s excuses, excuses, excuses from Jose.
“He looks over to City and Liverpool and sees that style of football and is jealous.
“You see the way they play – United fans aren’t getting value for money.”