Premier League - Paper Round: United made bid for Ozil

The inquest into Manchester United's disastrous transfer efforts is well and truly under way, with reports emerging that David Moyes tried to steal Mesut Ozil from under Arsenal's nose while the club also failed to land Wesley Sneijder - here are the main stories from today's newspapers.

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Premier League - United explain lack of signings during transfer window
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Manchester United manager David Moyes (Reuters)

United attempted to gazump Arsenal over Ozil: The Daily Mirror reports that in their desperation to sign a top quality midfielder, United made a last gasp attempt to snatch transfer record breaker Ozil from Arsenal's grasp. The club made "desperate phone calls" on Monday morning to see if Ozil was still available, having been offered him by a third party two weeks earlier.

Paper Round's view: The question has to be: why did Moyes pass up on Ozil if he was offered two weeks ago? Clearly, United could not have foreseen how badly deadline day was going to go for them, but is there a better player in his position than Ozil out there? Had United done a deal two weeks ago, they could have saved themselves a lot of heartache - and avoided the searching questions they are now facing.

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United missed out on Sneijder: Galatasaray have claimed United made an "indirect offer" to take playmaker Sneijder to Old Trafford this summer, reports the Daily Mail. The Premier League champions made the offer two weeks ago, but it was rejected, the club's sporting coordinator Bulunt Tulun said. The Mail neatly adds: "It proved to be an embarrassing end to the transfer window for United, as their scattergun approach was exposed on deadline day."

Paper Round's view: Not entirely sure if this "indirect offer" came from United or just a bunch of fake lawyers, but if true, it represents another one that got away. The Mail sums it up pretty well, labelling United's efforts in the transfer market as a "scattergun approach".

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United to continue Herrera and Baines pursuit in January: Moyes will reignite his interest in Leighton Baines and Ander Herrera in January as the club tries to "restore its crumbling reputation as a major player in the transfer market", the Daily Mail reports. The United boss will monitor Herrera's form for Athletic Bilbao while looking for any signs that Baines is struggling to settle again, even though Everton are willing to offer the defender a new deal.

Paper Round's view: No surprises. Moyes should still have money available after failing spectacularly to spend more than the £27.5m (or £23.5m, depending on who you believe - see below) on Marouane Fellaini on deadline day. Even his miserable summer on the transfer market should not put off the holders' of United's purse strings from allowing him to strengthen his squad in the New Year.

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Fellaini took massive financial hit: Details of the one player United did manage to sign are emerging, with the Daily Express reporting that Fellaini agreed to sacrifice a £4m loyalty bonus to force through his move to Old Trafford. The Daily Express reports that the United paid no more than the £23.5m release clause yet Everton claim the deal is worth £27.5m to them. The difference, the paper says, is Fellaini's own cash sacrifice.

Paper Round's view: Fellaini might well have taken a hit, but considering he will now be earning £125,000-a-week - a hefty hike from his 50,000-a-week at Goodison Park - he shouldn't end up too much out of pocket. Still, it's a nice line if he wanted to endear himself to his new fans.

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Rooney looks like a monster: Wayne Rooney's mug features on some tabloids' back pages today - mocked up as Frankenstein after England team-mate Theo Walcott said the Manchester United's facial injuries were like "something out of a horror film".

Paper Round's view: Rooney is used to being likened to green monsters - Shrek is the more oft-used comparison - but surely the real horror show of late has been his club's dealings in the transfer market.

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