Louis van Gaal cemented his reputation as the anti-Wenger, spending more than £100m for the second summer running and capping it all by forking out £36m for a teenager with 13 senior goals to his name.
However, United have some quality additions to their squad. Memphis Depay and Morgan Schneiderlin could be key players for years to come while Matteo Darmian has slotted in well at the back.
But as The Guardian notes, the "glut of early signings" was followed by "a second phase of business that United fans may want to forget". The De Gea farce, the Martial blow-out and the departures of Javier Hernandez and Adnan Januzaj meant "the window closed with some serious head-scratching".
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The Sun put it rather more succintly. "A summer which had started so promisingly ended in chaos. Supporters are scratching their heads over Martial fee."
Players in: Memphis Depay (PSV), Matteo Darmian (Torino), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern), Morgan Schneiderlin (Southampton), Sergio Romero (Sampdoria), Anthony Martial (Monaco).
Players out: Tom Cleverley (Everton), Nani (Fenerbahce), Robin van Persie (Fenerbahce), Rafael (Lyon), Angel Di Maria (Paris St Germain), Jonny Evans (West Brom), Adnan Januzaj (Borussia Dortmund, loan), Javier Hernandez (Bayer Leverkusen), Anders Lindegaard (West Brom, undisclosed).
Man Utd transfer news: De Gea deal collapses, £36m Martial arrives
A done deal - that was the consensus of Britain's media as far as David de Gea and Real Madrid went for most of Monday. According to ESPN, the Spanish giants "agreed a fee of around €35m with Manchester United" for the Spanish gloveman. Citing "sources at both clubs", ESPN says that talks "intensified" over the weekend with De Gea's agent Jorge Mendes bullish in his belief that United would relent and accept Real's offer.
But if they did relent, they did so too late, and not in time to meet the end of Spain's summer transfer deadline on Monday evening. As a result, reports BBC Sport, the move "collapsed because the necessary paperwork was not submitted in time." There was no reaction from either club but according to the Beeb "blame for the failure to complete the deal is already being apportioned".
The Spanish media are pointing the finger at United - who had hoped to bring Real gloveman Keylor Navas in the opposite direction - and allege that the Red Devils failed to get the relevant paperwork to the Spanish Football Federation headquarters before the 11pm BST deadline. United sources reject the claim, saying "they have a receipt that proves they submitted" the paperwork. The BBC adds that the matter may not be over with Real apparently weighing up an "appeal to world governing body Fifa, who are responsible for sanctioning international transfers".
It's not yet a crisis at Old Trafford but with United slumping to a 2-1 defeat to Swansea at the weekend manager Louis van Gaal knows he must keep strengthening his squad and that's why he's moved for Monaco striker Anthony Martial. Described by the Daily Star as "the next Thierry Henry", the 19-year-old Martial has apparently undergone a medical on Monday and according to French daily Le Parisien has "already agreed personal terms" with United.
It's reported by the Star that United's first two bids of £36m and £40m were rejected by the principality club but they relented when an offer of £43m was made, along with defender Marcos Rojo. However, Sky Sports "understand" that United will pay Monaco an initial £36m for the teenager with more to come later based on his performances. Martial, who has just received a first call-up to the France squad, will join Wayne Rooney and James Wilson up front with the Star reporting that Javier Hernandez has agreed to join German outfit Bayer Leverkusen for £7m.
Martial will do well to pay attention to the fate of Adnan Januzaj, the starlet who was the one bright star of the David Moyes era. He has been sent on loan to Borussia Dortmund for the season.
Man Utd transfer news: De Gea to stay as Real Madrid go cold
Like it or lump it, David de Gea "looks set to stay" at Manchester United for at least a few more months with the club "not expecting a bid" from Real Madrid in the coming days.
Sources in Spain, quoted by the Daily Telegraph, report that Real are increasingly unlikely to meet United's asking price of £35m over the weekend, which is mixed news for those at Old Trafford. While it means United get to keep De Gea this season, he is unlikely to be happy about it and they now run the risk of losing the 24-year-old on a free transfer next summer.
But the Daily Express has a different take on the stand-off, and claims that Real are "optimistic" they will sign De Gea before the window closes.
Thursday was a good day for United with the club enjoying a comfortable Champions League draw and also making progress in their efforts to offload Jonny Evans.
According to Metro, the Red Devils and West Bromwich Albion held productive discussions yesterday aimed at agreeing terms for the Northern Irish defender. Evans, who is no longer part of Louis van Gaal's plans at Old Trafford, is on the market for £12m but the Baggies "are hopeful of securing a cut-price deal" before Tuesday's transfer deadline. WBA's move comes after they failed to land Tottenham Hotspur defender Federico Fazio.
Man Utd transfer news: Valdes exit leave De Gea on his own
One of Manchester United's two disgruntled Spanish shotstoppers is on his way out of Old Trafford, after Sky Sports reported that the Red Devils "have agreed a deal with Turkish side Besiktas" for Victor Valdes. The 33-year-old goalkeeper signed an 18-month deal in January with United but allegations soon abounded that the former Barcelona star didn't see eye to eye with manager Louis van Gaal.
With Besiktas having sold their reserve goalkeeper Cenk Gonen to Galatasaray earlier in the week, they are in need of a new gloveman and Valdes seems to be that man, According to Sky Sports all that remains to agree are "discussions over personal terms." Once they are done and dusted, Valdes will be gone and David de Gea will be the solitary aggrieved Spanish goalkeeper at Old Trafford.
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