Manchester United, victims of their reputation
The modern transfer market is like a black hole in space, sucking in links and rumors by the thousands and only growing in size with each supposed 'agreement' with the club.
While silly season is a really entertaining time for football fans across the world, the frightening decrease in the accuracy of reporting tangible transfer news is a cause for concern.
The actual reason a player is linked with another club these days can span from the player wishing to leave, to the player clamoring for a new contract or even an agent driving up the price for his client.
While the rumor mill can work wonders for players and their agents, it has also gradually become the cause of a lot of bad PR and disgruntled fans.
No club has been a victim of this more than Manchester United. Apart from being the most recognizable club in the world, the Glazer family owned club is also arguably the richest. An unfortunate but obvious outcome of this incredible reputation is that the Manchester club is linked with almost every other player on the transfer market.
For the management and board of Manchester United, these rumors are hardly a worrying matter. A club of it’s magnitude does not concern themselves with these rumors as they go about their transfer dealing irrespective of media reporting.
The transfer of Alexis Sanchez to Manchester United was the best example of Ed Woodward and the Manchester United board’s sheer disregard for media speculation as they identified the Chilean as a target and secured his services promptly.
Something that is very common with football fans is to dream and assume how a rumored target would fit into their club. As is often the case today, fans scout said player about his best attributes, skills, tactical nous etc through the reliable scouting platform; YouTube.
Compilations of ‘best tackles, skills, goals, passes’ and other such videos flood YouTube and fans begin to make their assumptions about the player. 'Welcome to Manchester United, Real Madrid, or Barcelona’ videos take over in a couple of days and the media feeds the speculation.
But what if the player was never even considered? What if it was a story floated around by the agent of the player to drive up the price or to push for a new contract?
The instances of Firmino and Fabinho supposedly choosing rivals Liverpool over Manchester United could possibly be perfect examples. Both Brazilians were heavily mooted to make the move to Old Trafford.
YouTube was taken over with Welcome to Manchester United videos but ultimately neither joined the 20-time English Champions. Claims about the 'done deals' of Firmino to Manchester United as reported by The Daily Star and Fabinho to Manchester United as reported by The Express had Manchester United fans buzzing at the time.
The outcome of these turn of events results in fans leaping to the defense of the club saying; "we never wanted him anyway". Maybe they didn’t, but all the media speculation only got their hopes up before it came crashing down.
In this kind of scenario, it leaves fans in a state of dismay on the back of baseless rumors that built up only due to the weight of the reputation of Manchester United.
The players have secured their moves, their agents and the media have made their buck by name dropping the former champions of England. Manchester United for all we know have been working on their actual target all along while fans have been dreaming of a player who was never in their plans anyway.
To quote the current President of the United States;
The fake news media is working overtime…