This transfer window hasn't gone the way Manchester United fans would have hoped. They were expecting some big money recruits to build on their strong finish to last season, but as of yet they have been left largely disappointed.
Donny van de Beek has been the only major arrival, with an attacking midfielder hardly a priority. Their pursuit of Jadon Sancho has been a disaster and it now looks very unlikely that the Borussia Dortmund winger will move to Old Trafford before the end of the window.
All of this, coupled with their difficult start to the season, has contributed to a toxic atmosphere surrounding the club.
Speaking on BT Sport earlier today, Rio Ferdinand said it is Manchester United's repeated failings in the transfer market that has driven the club's supporters to the current point, while admitting the Premier League title is likely to be well beyond their reach this season.
"We've all been very aware of who the targets were, that's the frustrating element."
"Champions League will be the target realistically."@rioferdy5 thinks the buoyant mood around Old Trafford at the end of last season has already gone due to the lack of transfer activity... pic.twitter.com/jMiv50QBU7
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) October 3, 2020
I think the most frustrating thing for Manchester United is that we all know who the targets were at the beginning of the window. That's the frustrating element.
You look at is covid playing a part in the financials? The pursestrings are being have to be pulled a little bit. You saw left back and right winger as areas they were looking for, but then all of a sudden the season starts and those players haven't been brought in.
All of a sudden the defeat to Palace at home ignites the negativity surrounding the place. If you rewind two months previous, everyone was saying 'well done Ole' you've got them into the Champions League position, the club is on an upward trajectory now'.
Two months later, just because there hasn't been any signings and a first defeat at home, it really changes the picture massively for the club...
Not for me, not in my eyes (compete for the Premier League). Champions League would be the target for me realistically.
It's difficult to argue with any of that.
The reality is that a top four spot is by no means a certainty the way things stand.