Manchester United likes to brag about being the largest club in the world.
According to new CEO Richard Arnold, who once told a summit, he attended in 2016 that the “level we are interacting at, to put it in context, is equivalent to religion,” the company is as huge as God.
It’s about time they started doing what they said they’d do.
If United simply stands aside to allow Liverpool to sign Benfica striker Darwin Nunez, the bright new future promised by Arnold when he took over from Ed Woodward earlier this year will be a pipedream.
Erik ten Hag has no chance of restoring United’s glory days if they continue to operate in the transfer market as they have since before Sir Alex Ferguson resigned nine years ago.
Simply put, they must knock Liverpool out of contention for Nunez by walking the walk after years of talking the speak.
Nunez has been seen as a player who can become a talisman for a new age by United.
At 22, he appears to be the real deal, and Jurgen Klopp definitely agrees.
When it became evident that Sadio Mane did not want to stay at Anfield, the Merseysiders left.
They’ve put everything on the line to sign a successor. They’ve behaved in the manner of large clubs. Like when Manchester United signed players like Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand, Roy Keane, Paul Ince, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Andy Cole, Juan Sebastian Veron, Dwight Yorke, and Gary Pallister.
Of course, United is no longer the best team on the block.
Under the 1970s, however, they were in Liverpool’s shadow when Scottish international defender Gordon McQueen defended his choice to join United from Leeds by saying, “Ask all the players in the country which club they would like to play for, and 99 percent will choose Manchester United.” The remaining 1% are liars.”
This is not the time for Richard Arnold to play coy.
The Glazer family, who own United, had already tried to spend their way out of the downturn, spending over £1 billion on signings since Ferguson’s departure.
However, their strategy appears to be to pay whatever it takes to secure any player who is a Manchester City target.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Paul Pogba, Harry Maguire, Fred, and Alexis Sanchez are all signings motivated by a desire to pull one over on the so-called noisy neighbors rather than as a team-building exercise.
Towards the end of Ferguson’s tenure, there was always the impression that United was doing things cheaply and relying on their manager’s expertise.
When Ronaldo was transferred to Real Madrid for a world-record £80 million in the summer of 2009, Michael Owen, Gabriel Obertan, Chris Smalling, and Antonio Valencia arrived.
It was Javier Hernandez, Phil Jones, Ashley Young, and Bebe the next year. Then there were David De Gea and Nick Jones.
Some of them are solid acquisitions, but they are unlikely to get Stretford End fans excited.
Robin van Persie was ripped from City’s hands in 2012 when he opted to leave Arsenal, and he went on to assist Ferguson to win his 13th and final Premier League title.
However, just gazumping City is not a long-term plan for success.
Ten Hag desires Nunez. He also has his sights set on Frenkie De Jong and Jurrien Timber. United cannot afford to be hesitant at this time.
They celebrated the acquisition of Jadon Sancho for £73 million last summer, barely a year after Borussia Dortmund requested £108 million.
On the surface, this appears to be a wise business. However, according to Liverpool owner John W Henry, the losing bid was never disclosed.
Liverpool has not shied away from bringing in players who can make a difference – Mane, Mo Salah, Virgil van Dijk, and Alisson Becker.
After finishing second in both the Premier League and the Champions League, they are now willing to spend £85 million for Nunez after City signed Erling Haaland.
What about Manchester United? On Facebook and Instagram, they’re in a league of their own.