(Reuters) - David Moyes has questioned his former club Manchester United’s transfer policy as he prepares Sunderland for Monday’s Premier League clash at Old Trafford.
United have splurged about 500 million pounds ($614.50 million) in the transfer market since Alex Ferguson ended his 26 trophy-laden years in charge in 2013.
Despite the vast outlay they have failed to add to their record 20 English league titles and are already 13 points off the pace this season under Jose Mourinho.
Moyes, who replaced Ferguson but lasted less than a season despite signing the likes of Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata for 37 million pounds and Marouane Fellaini for 27 million, said United have moved away from their traditions.
“They were a football club who enjoyed traditions with the way they spent,” Moyes, whose Sunderland side are third from bottom, told the BBC.
”They didn’t try to compete with all the other clubs. They did what they thought was the right thing to do and spent the right way.
“Maybe that has had to change because of the current situation. (But) Sir Alex (Ferguson) went out and bought wisely and correctly in the transfer market and what he thought he needed to do.”
Mourinho’s arrival at Old Trafford signalled another huge transfer outlay, with Paul Pogba arriving from Juventus for a world record 89 million pounds and the likes of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Eric Bailly also joining for large fees.
“There have been a few changes at Manchester United but that’s the way they have chosen to go,” Moyes said.
The Scot added that one of the biggest regrets of his ill-fated stay at United was not signing Wales forward Gareth Bale from Tottenham Hotspur.
”When I first went in my real target was Gareth Bale,“ said Moyes. ”I felt all along that Gareth Bale was a Manchester United player.
“I fought right until the last minute. We actually offered a bigger deal than Real Madrid. But Gareth had his mind made up on going to Real Madrid.”
($1 = 0.8137 pounds)
Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Ken Ferris