16 – Luke Steele (£500,000 rising to £2.25m, from Peterborough in 2002)
He would later be joined at Old Trafford by Dave Magnet.
17 – Vanja Milinkovic-Savic (£1.2m, from Vojvodina in 2014)
Yet another example of a failed 2009 transfer policy.
18 – Luke Shaw (£27m rising to £31m, from Southampton in 2014)
It took a decade for Wayne Rooney’s £20m rising to £27m fee to be overtaken by Luke Shaw. The left-back is already halfway to matching his tally of Player of the Year awards.
19 – Anthony Martial (£36m rising to £58m, from Monaco in 2015)
The most expensive teenager in the world at the time was signed for a fee Louis van Gaal himself described as “ridiculous”.
20 – David de Gea (£18.9m, from Atletico Madrid in 2011)
Anderson (19) and Nani (20) were the most expensive Manchester United players at their respective ages when they both joined from Porto in 2007. Martial eventually surpassed the former, but David de Gea took just four years to replace the latter.
21 – Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£45m rising to £50m, from Crystal Palace in 2019)
21 is the magic number for United this summer, with Daniel James and Wan-Bissaka both within 16 days of each other in November 1997. James’ fee couldn’t eclipse the £25million United paid for 21-year-old Memphis Depay in 2015 but Wan-Bissaka’s deal threatens to double it.
22 – Victor Lindelof (£30.75m, from Benfica in 2017)
Before Eric Bailly (£30m) in June 2016 and Victor Lindelof (£30.75m) 12 months later, there was Diego Forlan (£6.9m), signed at the age of 22 on January 22, 2002.
23 – Paul Pogba (£89.3m, from Juventus in 2016)
It was always going to take something drastic to dislodge Rio Ferdinand (£30m). Breaking the world transfer record ought to do it.
24 – Romelu Lukaku (£75m, from Everton in 2017)
Will he ever be truly loved? As a footballer, anyway; we imagine he’s quite popular among his friends and family.
25 – Fred (£47m rising to £52m, from Shakhtar Donetsk in 2018)
Here’s a thought: did Manchester United sign the wrong one? Did they get the former Lyon striker and 35-year-old Brazil legend mixed up with the Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder almost ten years his junior?
26 – Angel Di Maria (£59.7m, from Real Madrid in 2014)
Shame he was a ‘complete fanny’.
27 – Dimitar Berbatov (£30.75m, from Tottenham in 2008)
Sir Alex Ferguson spent £20m or more on just two players aged 27 and over. Dimitar Berbatov was one…
28 – Nemanja Matic (£40m, from Chelsea in 2017)
If Nemanja Matic was worth £40m at the age of 28, how many figures are we talking for a 22-year-old Scott McTominay?
29 – Robin van Persie (£24m, from Arsenal in 2012)
And now to the second man Fergie broke his oath for. For the price of a Premier League title, it isn’t difficult to understand why.
30 – Bastian Schweinsteiger (£6.5m, from Bayern Munich in 2015)
The right buy at the wrong time.
31 – Teddy Sheringham (£3.5m, from Tottenham in 1997)
Replacing Eric Cantona was a thankless task, but his antics at the Nou Camp in May 1999 suggest Teddy Sheringham gave it a damn good go.
32 – N/A
It seems that Manchester United have never paid a fee to sign a 32-year-old. We’re stunned too. So either have Victor Valdes’ expensive wages when he joined in 2015, Les Sealey’s expensive tastes from his arrival in 1990, or Ron Davies’ unknown price when he rocked up in 1974.