Louis van Gaal’s dismal last season with Manchester United is certainly one to forget, but reports this week revealed the Dutchman did intend to salvage the season by bringing in more firepower.
According to the Sunday Times, Van Gaal desperately attempted to sign an in-form striker during the January transfer window and Watford’s Odion Ighalo was his main target.
Unsurprisingly, given his form at the time, Watford turned down United’s whopping £35 million bid for the striker as the club looked to focus on avoiding relegation.
The report also revealed that both clubs agreed to keep the panic bid secret so Ighalo could focus on his football and not become unstable midway through the season.
Having the negotiations under the table also benefited Manchester United, keeping them safe from the criticism of failing to sign a player from a lower-placed club.
Watford are keen to keep the Nigerian international after rejecting a £38 million bid from Chinese outfit Shanghai SIPG recently.
With Jose Mourinho now in the hot seat at Old Trafford, the Portuguese coach has already brought in creative midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan and proven striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Reports also suggest United are willing to spend over £100 million for France and Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba, a move which could progress more quickly following the conclusion of Euro 2016 on Sunday night.
James McDonald, Pundit Arena