Proving they are no laughing stock will be on Manchester United’s to-do list in Munich on Wednesday when they take on Bayern.
To some at the club and the thousands of travelling fans, it will feel they have been battling the Bundesliga champions all summer despite not playing a professional game against each other since 2014.
Harry Kane joined Bayern Munich for £86m after Man United showed interest in him earlier in the summerBayern Munich
The transfer window was the stage as the European rivals locked horns over the game’s biggest names and it’s a fight United lost.
They even tried to sign players from Bayern, but weren’t successful as the German giants repeatedly jabbed and embarrassed their Premier League foes.
From Harry Kane to Leon Goretzka, Bayern kept winning the tug of war as issues over the proposed sale of United hampered the ability to plan ahead.
And it is seemingly being felt given the slow start to the season where the club have so far failed to build on the initial success of Erik ten Hag’s first season.
It was hoped a couple of additions to key positions would help at least challenge for the title after winning the Carabao Cup and qualifying for the Champions League. Now, some of those misses could haunt them…
One of the most talked about transfers of the summer was Tottenham’s all-time goalscorer Kane moving from Spurs to Bayern.
Kane has continued his impressive Premier League goal scoring form at BayernGetty
The England striker was snapped up for £86m by the German champions in mid-August – a Bayern and Bundesliga record fee – but Bayern were by no means the only club interested in signing Kane as he entered the final year of his Spurs deal.
Man United had been heavily linked with the striker, as they desperately searched for a no.9 following Cristiano Ronaldo’s January departure and Wout Weghorst’s loan coming to an end. However, Man United pulled out of the race having been priced out.
Instead, Man United bought Atalanta’s Rasmus Hojlund. It’ll certainly be interesting to see how both strikers get on when the two sides meet.
Kim was on Man United’s radar, but now Bayern are reaping the benefits of having the Serie A winner on their teamGetty
It’s a similar tale when it comes to former Napoli defender Kim Min-jae, who played a key role in Napoli winning Serie A last season, where he made 43 appearances.
The South Korean also attracted interest from other Champions League side Newcastle, too.
Ten Hag was keen to activate the centre-back’s £42m release clause, however, Bayern swooped in to take yet another one of Ten Hag’s key targets, signing him for £42m.
Meanwhile, Man United recruited former defender Jonny Evans, bringing him in on a free from relegated Leicester.
Tuchel has inflicted two wins on Man United already during his managerial career, but was also getting the upper hand in the transfer windowGetty
Man United also lost out on signing a Bayern star, with the Bundesliga club deciding to sell him to another European giant instead.
With the clock ticking towards deadline day and after failing to sign Kim, Man United were interested in bringing Benjamin Pavard in to bolster their options at centre back.
He even commented on Raphael Varane’s Instagram photo after his late winner against Wolves in the opening fixture with flame emojis.
But fast forward two weeks and the France international was putting pen to paper with Inter Milan – another missed target for Ten Hag and co thanks to Bayern.
Pavard called time on his four years at Bayern, but ended up at Inter Milan instead of Old TraffordGetty
Pavard wasn’t the only Bayern star the Bundesliga outfit decided to sell on elsewhere despite Man United’s interest, either.
Except this time, Thomas Tuchel’s side sold one of the Red Devils’ targets to a rival – Liverpool.
Man United were keen to add more midfield depth following Fred’s exit, and with Gravenberch looking for regular first team football, the move looked to line up perfectly.
However, Liverpool’s long term interest in the midfielder and missing out on Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia to Chelsea led them to secure Gravenberch over their rivals. It’s not exactly the outcome Man United would have been hoping for…
Man United fans will have been disappointed to see Gravenberch make his Liverpool debut against Wolves last SaturdayGetty
Another Bayern midfielder was on Man United’s radar this summer – Goretzka.
Man United have been long term admirers of the German, first showing interest in 2021.
But despite the five-time Bundesliga champion reportedly being in Tuchel’s starting XI plans and therefore creating a golden opportunity for the Red Devils to snap him up, Goretzka remains at the club.
Reports suggested the German giants would let the 28-year-old leave for the right price, but the midfielder later stated: “I have no intention to leave Bayern. I love the club, I love the city, I love the fans.”
Man United’s pursuit of Goretzka ended in disappointment tooGetty
Listen to full commentary of Bayern Munich vs Manchester United live on talkSPORT, kick-off 8pm.