MANCHESTER UNITED are reportedly recruiting “spies” to check out the backgrounds of transfer targets.
The Athletic claims United are covering every base when it comes to finding new signings, with an incredible 36,000 reports compiled last year alone.
The Red Devils have spent an astonishing £900million since Sir Alex Ferguson left the club in 2013, with just an FA Cup and a Europa League to show for it.
United’s fortunes have plummeted even further under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with the club sitting 12th in the Premier League table after just two wins in their first eight games of the new season.
A number of expensive flops have been signed since the last title win six-and-a-half years ago, such as Angel Di Maria, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Memphis Depay.
And greater care is now being made to ensure they do not land players who are of little use to the squad.
It’s claimed that scouts and analysts in more than 30 countries ran the rule over a whopping 13,800 games last year, amounting to 38 matches per day and 36,000 reports in total.
United are also employing “spying firms” to make sure potential signings have no skeletons in their closet.
It’s claimed the Red Devils signed Marcos Rojo in Sporting Lisbon in 2014 for £16m, despite being unaware he was under investigation for allegedly bottling two people in Argentina.
The new procedures have seen a massive 45 scouts added to the club since Fergie’s retirement.
And computer data is also being heavily relied on, leading to United signing Harry Maguire over Jerome Boateng in August.
The Red Devils were apparently considering a £13m move for the Bayern Munich defender.
LADBROKES 1-2-FREE Simply predict Man City, Rangers and Man Utd vs Liverpool scores this coming week and win £100
But analytic software showed that Boateng’s performances dropped dramatically after 70 minutes, making £80m Maguire a more worthwhile purchase despite the huge difference in price.
Joao Felix was dismissed as being too light-weight for the Premier League before his £113m move from Benfica to Atletico Madrid.
And when United decided to splash £45m on Crystal Palace’s Aaron Wan-Bissaka, they first drew up a shortlist of 50 players from their database of reports.
But reports claim that prior to Solskjaer, previous United bosses “ignored scouting reports” on hiding gems to instead blow millions on flops.
Latest Man Utd News
It’s claimed Jose Mourinho turned down the chance to sign Virgil van Dijk before he moved to Liverpool for £75m from Southampton in January 2018.
A source told The Independent: “They’ve got reports on so many players, but they mostly go ignored.
“Some of the players they’d spend fortunes on, they’re not as good as better players who they’ve got reports on. There’s no unity of ideas.”