Manchester United’s strange January window

It’s no secret that the Red Devils want to bring in fresh faces – most of all Declan Rice – but they prioritised their departures in the mid-season window, even while refusing to let Jesse Lingard leave the club.

Upon his unveiling in December, though, interim boss Ralf Rangnick warned that January was not a time for “sustainable” signings to be made, so it was likely never the plan that United would splash this winter despite doing just that 12 months earlier to bring Bruno Fernandes to the club.

Ousmane Dembele and other names were linked with the club in January, but no moves were made, as was the case at Chelsea as well.

The decision to not strengthen was probably in part due to them not having a permanent coach in place, and instead having Rangnick in interim charge at Old Trafford, despite him being set to make a move upstairs at the end of the season.

“We are running processes for our recruitment in the summer,” a source at the club said in early January, speaking to Manchester Evening News. “We start in September and it starts to really solidify around this time of year, just in case there are ones available who we would want to bring in the summer who are available now. Although that’s a low probability.”