Real Madrid president Florentino Perez believes Man United and their executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, 'lack experience,' and claims the Old Trafford outfit failed in their advances on four of Madrid's best players this summer.
Speaking to Cadena Ser in Spain, Perez was quizzed on reports which claimed United made a €100m bid to lure Gareth Bale (who netted a cracking 'who wants it' header for Wales last night) back to the Premier League, Perez said:
No. It is not true. We just know that Manchester United expressed their interest in Bale, Benzema and Varane.
Benzema and Bale know they are in the best club in the world. Where will they be better anywhere else other than here?
Ultimately, Woodward and United's recruitment technique of throwing shit at the wall until it stuck saw them embellish the side's much maligned central midfield, while also securing the services of French teen Anthony Martial for 187 billion pounds, plus add-ons.
But failure to secure the signature of a top-shelf centre back will likely come back to haunt them, in what, for United, might well transpire to become an eerily similar season to the last.
And despite Van Gaal's assertions that Madrid captain Sergio Ramos may have been "in a process", Perez insisted the 29-year-old was never really that close to departing for Old Trafford. A shock twist.
There is nothing to talk about. Nothing eventually happened.
But United interest, the media, journalists who wanted to hurt [Real Madrid]... But it was just another episode of the summer. I never though he was going to leave. Maybe you thought that but he was never close to leaving us.
For United fans, it has been one of the overriding frustrations of Woodward's reign at the top. And, in light of Gary Neville's remarks that Arsene Wenger and Arsenal's failure to replace Patrick Vieira boils down to "arrogance," he would do well to point the finger closer to home at United's very public, failed pursuits of Neymar, Pedro and several Madrid stars.
The club did, however, keep hold of the world's best goalkeeper in David De Gea - causing a harsh exchange of words between themselves and Real Madrid in the media - and Florentino Perez remains irked, describing the Spanish no.1 as "very affected" by the saga.
We have missed out on players before, Franck Ribery and Patrick Vieira for example, but what is surprising is that someone wants to do a deal and only starts the process 12 hours before.
It's the inexperience of the new people in charge. We have worked with [United] before, with Peter Kenyon and David Gill and with Sir Alex Ferguson.
We still have a good relationship with Manchester United but this is the exactly the same as what happened before with Coentrao and Herrera and we thought they would have learned from what happened in the past.
I don't want to blame anyone but [United's side of the paperwork] took eight hours.
That, as we all know, is the football equivalent of a hefty smack across the face before a dramatic turn and walk away.