You know how the transfer window is probably more about talking about signing players than actually signing players? Well, that. That is very true. And it's more true now than it's ever been - just look at Manchester United.

United finished sixth in the Premier League. They're in the Europa League next season (though congrats to Ed Woodward, who saw Man City smash Watford 6-0 in the FA Cup final thus meaning the Red Devils avoid travelling to like Estonia in July to try and qualify for the bloody competition proper and can instead play Spurs in a lucrative pre-season friendly to make lots of money) and everything is, as they say, terrible. But...

Question: How do we make everything less terrible, guys?

Answer: Make people (fans in this case) feel better.

Question: How do we make people (fans in this case) feel better?

Answer: Transfers. Talk about transfers. Make up transfers. And say all of these transfers will be incoming transfers to Manchester United. 

United have been linked to more than 50 central defenders over the last couple of years (we counted), but here we're going to build a squad of 18 players who've been linked with a move to Old Trafford since the summer transfer window opened on Thursday, May 16. That is, at time of publishing, three days ago. Our Ed's been busy getting them briefs out there.

Enjoy the ride, this article, and one hell of a rotten summer...

GK: Jasper Cillessen

Jasper Cillessen

Club: ​Barcelona

Source: Big Dunc from the ​Daily Record

David de Gea's got a year left on his contract, and he's thinking about leaving, apparently. Paris Saint-Germain want him and are letting Gigi Buffon go. Cillessen's available for €25m.

Is it happening? Oh please don't sell David de Gea and get Barcelona's second choice goalkeeper who has made four league appearances in three years as your new number one to replace him. Please. Ed. Listen.

RB: Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Club: ​Crystal Palace

Source: ​The Sun

Okay so technically I cheated and took this story from 90 minutes before Thursday May 16th, but it was written for the following day's papers. So it counts. AWB is wanted by almost all of the Premier League's big six, but United, who need a right back like Pep Guardiola needs Miracle Gro, do actually have a shot. They just need to act fast.

Is it happening? Maybe. But that would depend on Man Utd having sense. And they don't have any sense. So that's a concern.

CB: Matthijs de Ligt


Club: Ajax

Source: ​The Telegraph

Best central defender in Europe, or in the top three at least, and wanted by the best clubs in the world. 19, built like a house, absolutely terrifying with the face of a baby, and the leader of men that Manchester United so desperately need.

Is it happening? If Matthijs de Ligt has any ambition or brains, which he does, there will be nothing to suggest this one will happen. Because it would be stupid on his part.

CB: Kalidou Koulibaly

Kalidou Koulibaly

Club: Napoli

Source: ​Guillem Balague, obv

He's been linked for a year now. United need a centre half, and Koulibaly is another who could come in and actually fix that thing they call a defence.

Is it happening? If United are willing to pay for him, then maybe. But paying £100m-ish for players may not be their best strategy right now, as good as he is. 

LB: Ryan Sessegnon

Ryan Sessegnon

Club: Fulham

Source: ​Sky Sports

Season one in the Premier League didn't go well for Ryan Sessegnon, and you wonder if season two would be much better if he joined United??! Still, player with plenty of potential. United have 'contacted Fulham' about him...whatever that equates to.

Is it happening? He's probably going to end up at Spurs. Let's be real.

CM: Sean Longstaff

Sean Longstaff

Club: Newcastle

Source: ​Sky Sports

Yes, this happened this week. Sky Sports came up with this. Perfect fodder for a £35m transfer to United after playing a grand total of NINE (nine) Premier League games ever.

Is it happening? A Scott McTominay/Sean Longstaff pivot is the stuff of dreams.

CM: Tanguy Ndombele


Club: Lyon

Source: ​L'Equipe

Again, United are one of many in the mix, at least that's what L'Equipe tell us.

They also tell us that the uncertainty over Paul Pogba's future is getting in the way of this deal, which is another thing that the proper fans can shout at Pogba in the stands for, probably.

Is it happening? Surely if he does go, a better club are getting him. 

AM: Joao Felix


Club: Benfica

Source: ​Sapo (Portugal)

United have scouted Joao Felix, one of the hottest prospects in world football, about 58,000 times now - most recently on Saturday night as he and Benfica won the Portuguese league title.

Sounds a lot like United, since they have 58,000 scouts. They'll probably keep watching him when he joins ​Manchester City too. Might save a bit of money on travel costs then, at least.

Is it happening? Don't hold your breath.

RW: Nicolas Pepe


Club: Lille

Source: ​Big Dunc, Duncan Castles

​Manchester United have 'asked Lille about Nicolas Pepe'. Let's speculate about what they asked, shall we?

Ed Woodward: "Hi Lille. What about that Nicolas Pepe then? Saw he scored some goals in France for a while and people are telling me he's good? How much does he cost? €80m? Oh, that much? Okay, thanks. I've made the call now so I'll leak this one to the press to make it seem like we're doing something. If you don't sell him by August 8th I'll come back with € have my word. Thanks, Ed."

Is it happening? The interest from Bayern seems to have waned, and clubs come and go from the running with regularity. Would be a smart addition...

LW: Daniel James

Daniel James

Club: Swansea

Source: ​Sky Sports / ​M.E.N.

News of interest in Daniel James broke well before the transfer window opened, but the speculation has continued right through the week. It's still going, even if things have regressed a little. M.E.N. report that no official approach has been made yet.

Is it happening? Seems like Sky Sports jumped the gun on this one *shocked face emoji* but he's cheap and has potential. Would be a smart squad option regardless.

ST: Paulo Dybala


Club: Juventus

Source: ​M.E.N.

Anyone old enough to remember when Paulo Dybala was banging in goals for Palermo and then Maurizio Zamparini (their old president) told the press every. single. day. that he could move to Man Utd or another big club? We do. It was a ride. A really boring, never-ending, monotonous ride.

Dybala could leave Juventus this summer, and now it's his brother going for it. United don't need him at all, but be sure they'll be linked with him once every three days before his next move is decided.

Is it happening? Would bet actual money that he's staying at Juventus, especially now Max Allegri's popping off.

Substitutes - ​Andre Onana

Andre Onana

Club: Ajax

Source: Big Duncan Castles, ​Daily Record

"The Dutch club value Onana at €40m, a figure United consider inflated." That's that then.

Is it happening? Maybe if Dave the Save leaves, but Onana is bound to fall beneath Jordan Pickford – because that would be a horrible idea – in the list of goalkeeping priorities to sign.

Thomas Partey

Thomas Teye Partey

Club: Atletico Madrid

Source: The Su​n

Thomas Partey is available this summer for £43.5m, his agent has confirmed. The links have been there for a while, but the fresh quotes have come over the last few days - it's bound to spark some interest from across the continent. Having lost Ander Herrera, Partey could be a worthy replacement.

Is it happening? Give it a few weeks, and we'll see...

Patrick van Aanholt

Patrick van Aanholt

Club: Crystal Palace

Source: The Sun

PVA. The glue that could hold Manchester United together at this time of utter despair? No.

Is it happening? HahahahahahagodIhopenot.

Mario Fernandes


Club: CSKA Moscow

Source: ​Guillem Balague, obv

Wonder where Guillem's got this one from? Doesn't seem to fit the profile Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is looking at given he's 28 years old. But as Guillem says...available at a cheap price.

Is it happening? Very pie in the sky.

David Neres

David Neres

Club: Ajax

Source: Euro United, via the ​Star

Ooh he is very good, isn't he? David Neres is exciting, and is another one of those Ajax players wanted by basically everyone in the market at the moment. 

Paris St-Germain, Atletico Madrid, Bayern Munich, Chelsea and United are all in the hunt, with the latter pair having already "put contract offers on the table" - apparently. 

Is it happening? Notice how United are the only one of the five mentioned above who will play in the Europa League next season? Do you think Neres fancies playing in the Europa League or Champions League? Hear those trips to Eastern European teams nobody has heard of are a delight in November.

Wilfried Zaha

Wilfried Zaha

Club: Crystal Palace

Source: ​Telegraph

The former United player wants to leave Palace this summer to play in the Champions League, though the Telegraph have stuck their neck on the line and intimated that Zaha would move back to United 'to take care of unfinished business' if given the opportunity. Sounds familiar.

Imagine they let Paul Pogba go free, bought him back for £89m, then bought Wilf Zaha for £100m after selling him for £3m a few years prior. Very Manchester United.

Is it happening? Being real mind, for £100m? Wilf Zaha is staying at Crystal Palace forever and ever.

Antoine Griezmann


Club: Atletico Madrid

Source: The ​Express

Antoine Griezmann made The Decision to leave Atletico Madrid, finally, after making The Decision to stay at Atletico Madrid last year. He's going to end up at Barcelona, but obviously every twist and turn is going to be sold until then as MAN UTD SUFFER BLOW or MAN UTD GIVEN HUGE BOOST IN PURSUIT OF ANTOINE GRIEZMANN because flogging dead rumours are in everybody's best interests, aren't they?

Is it happening? Can't be arsed.