Manchester United are reportedly growing increasingly frustrated by the social media frenzy surrounding their transfer dealings.
ESPN sources claim United believe it is creating a cloud of negativity ahead of the Premier League season.
The club are aware of the intense criticism surrounding the Jadon Sancho debacle, as well as more recent anger as Tottenham move closer to securing deals for Gareth Bale and Sergio Reguilon, both of whom United have shown interest in.
United claim that while they held preliminary talks with representatives of both players, negotiations never went beyond that.
Sources also said the club are surprised at posts online from fans suggesting United “missed out” on the pair.
United reportedly dismissed a move for Reguilon due to Real Madrid insisting on a buy-back clause, while they believe their brief interest in Bale was exaggerated by the La Liga giants, in their desperation to get rid of the Wales international.
Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward’s interest in how United’s transfer dealings are discussed on social media became clear in a conference call with investors earlier this year.
“Despite being linked in the media to 111 players in January, our acquisition of just one of them — Bruno Fernandes — is an important step, demonstrating our commitment to adding experienced, world-class recruits to the exciting crop of academy graduates that are at the heart of this developing team,” executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said.
Managing director Richard Arnold also pointed out how the club monitor Twitter activity surrounding their transfers, referring to the surprise move for Odion Ighalo.
“He [Ighalo] was the top trend worldwide on Twitter,” Arnold said, adding the social media numbers posted put Ighalo ahead of discussions about Britain leaving the European Union.
Woodward, in particular, has come under scrutiny on social media, but the club believe the recruitment team is being unfairly castigated through rumours stemming from other clubs and agents of which the club have no control.