Manchester United rule out spending binge in January transfer window with strict policy not to panic buy… as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks to technology to enhance recruitment project
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants Manchester United to use a giant Spanish consultancy service to help with the club’s recruitment drive.
Solskjaer has recommended to United they join the client list of Madrid-based company Driblab which has a detailed database on more than 100,000 players and potential signings.
A dozen clubs in La Liga are already subscribers as are Nottingham Forest who used the available information before making a number of signings in the summer to aid their promotion push to the Premier League.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants Man United to use a Spanish consultancy service for recruitment
Driblab evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of players from the age of 16 in more than a hundred different competitions – down to the detail of how injuries affect their ability or run and kick the ball.
They also use an advanced algorithm to draw up an expected goals formula to see if attackers and goalkeepers are performing above or below standard.
Though United have a worldwide scouting team that feed information into Solskajer and Mike Phelan in order to make recommendations to transfer chiefs Ed Woodward and Matt Judge, there is a feeling the club have to embrace modern technology as well to unearth bargains like Liverpool did with Philippe Coutinho.
Liverpool have used technology for several years and were able to discover Philippe Coutinho
United are committed to rebuilding a squad that are 12th in the Premier League and won just three of 11 matches in all competitions this season.
So far, they have relied on the eyes and ears of Solskjaer, Mike Phelan, veteran scout Jim Lawlor and his recruitment staff.
They have given transfer chiefs Ed Woodward and Matt Judge the names of half-a-dozen targets but United would prefer to wait until the summer to make big signings having had their fingers burned on Alexis Sanchez in the January 2018 transfer window.
On that occasion, the club backed Jose Mourinho by giving Sanchez record wages to gazzump Manchester City but the move turned into a disaster with the Chilean scoring just five goals for his £42million salary before joining Inter Milan on loan.
The pressure is on Ed Woodward to once again delve into the market and buy more players
Lyon striker Moussa Dembele, 23, is believed be on United’s wishlist but the club are prepared to wait to sign him rather than pay the French club’s asking price of £71million which would smack of a panic buy.
They are also reluctant to rip up their plans and change targets in January as a knee-jerk reaction to them becoming available.
Insiders say they have learned how Liverpool waited six months to sign Virgil van Dijk rather than splash their money on an inferior player in the interim to help a leaky defence.
Privately, Solskjaer feels he will have to finish in the top six as a bare minimum this season to keep his job and would need to win a trophy next year.
The club are prepared to give the under-fire manager some time given the rebuilding job needed but significantly the new transfer policy, which began last summer with the acquisitions of Harry Maguire, Aaron wan-Bissaka and Daniel James, is now the blueprint for future windows regardless who is in the hot seat.
Lyon striker Moussa Dembele, 23, is believed be on United’s wishlist, but they fear over-paying