completed their first signing of the summer on Wednesday as Daniel James joined the club from Swansea
At a cost of £17million, James is the first player to sign for the club under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's permanent managerial reign.
James is the latest in a long line of youngsters who have joined United with plenty of backing and potential in previous years.
looks at how some of those before him got on.
Sir Alex Ferguson was planning his purchase long before he bought him from Sporting in 2003 for £12.24m. Former United and England defender Rio Ferdinand remembers asking Ferguson: 'Are we going to get this guy? Who is he?'
'Listen, I'm working on it,' was Ferguson's response. It was soon a done deal and one that would prove to be one of the most profitable transfers in history. Not just in terms of resale value, which was handsome with Real Madrid paying £80m for him in 2009, but also his on-pitch return.
His career at Old Trafford lasted six years. In that time he played 292 games and scored 119 goals. He won an array of trophies, including three Premier League titles, one Champions League and one FA Cup.
A player who promised plenty at United but who delivered so very little. He joined for £25m in 2015 and was supposed to be the answer to filling the void left by Ronaldo six years prior.
There were even some who drew comparisons between Ronaldo and Depay. It didn't take long for those to die down as he struggled to cause much of a threat for most Premier League defences.
He may have worn Ronaldo's No 7 but came nowhere near to his impressive haul, managing just seven goals in 53 appearances. It took just a year and a half for him to be sold to Lyon.
Manchester United have never tended to wait around when they want a transfer to happen. Ferguson had quickly identified Everton's young star striker Wayne Rooney and the club gave him the money to make a deal happen.
'I'm excited to be joining a club as big as Manchester United,' Rooney said. 'I feel this can only improve my career.' It must be remembered that £27m for a player in 2004 was a huge amount. But United were sure they would get a return on their investment.
In fact, they ended up with more than that. Rooney scored 253 goals for United over a 13-year period, becoming the club's record scorer in the process.
He would eventually rejoin Everton before heading off to the United States, but Rooney was an exceptional talent during his best years at Old Trafford.
United thought they were getting a bargain when Bellion signed a four-year deal after his contract at Sunderland expired. 'He is a young player with great potential who will fit into the club's future plans very well,' Ferguson said after signing him in 2003.
It seemed to make sense at the time but didn't end up that way. Bellion stayed for three years but endured a difficult time in front of goal. The striker made 24 league appearances and scored only four goals.
He eventually joined Nice in 2006 but moved on from there a year later when he joined Bordeaux. In seven years there, Bellion would score 20 goals in 114 games. He retired from football in 2016 and how Ferguson's words about potential must still bug him even today.
Back in 2008, Zoran Tosic became a target for leading European clubs when he played a key role in Serbia's run to the semi-finals of the European Under-21 Championships.
With it known that Ronaldo would be heading to the Bernabeu when the season was over, United were in the market for a flying winger who could step up in dead-ball situations. Tosic, at just £8m, fitted the bill and joined in January 2009.
But after just five senior appearances for United in 18 months, Tosic grew inpatient and walked out on the club, a decision he later admitted he regretted, and signed for CSKA Moscow.
He shone in Russia, but many, including the player himself, will wonder what might have been in the north-west.
Yet another one of the 2003 cohort. And yet another failure. United felt they had got the midfielder for good money after they bought him from Nantes for £3.5m.
There was some talk at the time how he would bring back the stuff tough-tackling once executed so well by Roy Keane. For sure, he was aggressive in midfield but it was more League Two aggression than the controlled bursts that get you the respect in the Premier League.
Tackles were badly timed and he just didn't fit the billing. He wasn't a complete disaster but just two years after signing he was on his way out the door. The 38-year-old is still playing for FC Vallorbe-Ballaigues in Switzerland.
This was a signing that needed to happen. Shaw had impressed playing for Southampton and United needed to make a statement a year after Ferguson had departed.
Shaw joined for £27m, which made him one of the world's most expensive defenders at the time. Five years on, with Shaw now 23, it has proved to be a signing that really hasn't provided value for money.
Shaw has been troubled with injury and has struggled for fitness. But there is a reason why United are reluctant to let him leave. He remains technically a good player but more is expected. This next season could be career-defining for him.
There is an argument that suggests Anderson wasn't a terrible, terrible signing. Just a terrible one. After all, he did play in a 2012/13 Premier League title-winning side that would get nowhere close to Manchester City and Liverpool these days.
He arrived along with Nani, who we will get to. United were so keen to sign the pair that they sent a delegation led by chief executive David Gill and Ferguson's assistant manager Carlos Queiroz. Looking back at those times in 2007, they'd perhaps be pressed to say that his £20m price tag wasn't worth it.
He managed to last eight years at Old Trafford. He was, however, largely forgotten about, making 181 appearances in total for United. Perhaps the longest-serving failure in Premier League history.
Nani was often criticised for his lack of end product and generally being quite a frustrating player to watch. But when you look at it all back he wasn't a bad signing. For some time after Ronaldo's move to Real Madrid, Nani was one of United's most threatening players.
In 230 appearances, Nani scored 40 goals and provided 73 assists. Not to mention that he played his part in one Champions League win, four Premier League titles and two League Cups.
He left United in 2015 when he joined Fenerbahce. From there he has gone on to play for Valencia and is still played aged 32 at Orlando City. A decorated career and one that also includes a European Championship with Portugal.
Upon arrival at Old Trafford in 2010, Bebe was described as a fast and technically gifted striker. He was also said to be strong in the air at 6ft 2in tall. Ferguson's assistant Queiroz was confident Bebe would become a superstar.
How far from the truth that would turn out to be. £7m had been spent on him so United felt compelled to play him. But he really was dreadful. He appeared seven times for United, scoring twice but he was never going to develop from anything other than a poor squad player.
After a number of loan spells away from the club, he eventually left for Benfica in 2014 where he made one appearance. The 28-year-old has been at Rayo Vallecano since last year. So far, he's scored once in 27 games.