That’s the opinion of journalist Duncan Castles, who claims scouts at other clubs are not impressed with United’s scouting department.
The club have come in for criticism in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era for making a number of poor signings.
They spent £130m alone on Angel Di Maria, Morgan Schneiderlin and Memphis Depay – who made 132 appearances between them before being sold for a combined fee of around £80m.
United also forked out £53m on Brazilian midfielder Fred last summer, who has featured a mere 19 times this season.
“I think the huge scouting team is actually a problem”
And while Castles doesn’t think it’s fair to label the majority of Ed Woodward’s signings as ‘late at best’, he stresses that the scouting team at Old Trafford is a big problem.
“I think it’s slightly unfair on Manchester United saying that they’ve been late signings at best,” he told The Transfer Window podcast.
“They were actually very quick at doing deals in Mourinho’s first summer, they were more organised in the recruitment than they had been in the rest of the Ed Woodward era.
“However, the general assessment of them being poor in the transfer market – absolutely agreed with. I think the huge scouting team is actually a problem. We’ve talked about how that scouting team was hired by Ed Woodward, using a management consultancy company in London to do a search for scouts.”
Castles’ comments came after it was claimed that:
He continued: “I think it’s probably the biggest and most expensive scouting team in world football. It’s not very good.
“Other scouts at other clubs are not impressed with what Manchester United do. Their inefficiencies, the way they work.
“And more importantly, Jose Mourinho was unimpressed with what the scouting team was producing and would use an independent consultant to cross-reference the proposals he was getting from the scouting team and then provide alternatives to them – which ended up being a large part of the conflict between him and Woodward and the reason why the last transfer window was so bad, because Woodward obviously wanted to trust the scouts that he had spent so much money recruiting.
“I don’t think that’s gonna go away. There may be an out for Manchester United if they get a director of football in place, because that director of football would be a Woodward appointment and would come with the authority involved in being a Woodward appointment and would potentially have the ability to override this scouting team or at least direct their efforts in a different fashion and say: ‘no, these are the players we should be going for.’
“So that could help United get out of this problem situation they’ve got.
“But you still retain the issues of negotiation tactics, you still retain the issues of this obsession with social-media profile, commercial value of the players.”
United’s hopes of winning a trophy this season were severely dented in a 2-1 FA Cup quarter-final defeat away at Wolves last Saturday.
Solskjaer and co now only have to worry about the Champions League and finishing in the top four of the Premier League in 2018/19.