The Daily Mirror's coverage featured an exclusive column from the late Emlyn Hughes and the former Liverpool defender pulled no punches in his assessment of the transfer.
Under the banner 'the last big gamble of United's Alex Ferguson', the headlines screamed: 'A Flashy Foreigner' and 'It will be Oooh-Arrgh Cantona'.
"A master stroke... that's what some people are saying about Manchester United's signing of Eric Cantona," wrote Hughes. "Me? I say it's a panic buy. One last frantic roll of the dice to see if the Frenchman can hit the jackpot for Alex Ferguson.
"It could either win him something this season or cost him his job. Break the bank - or bust him. And I'll admit when I heard the news, I was simply staggered. Cantona looks the business but, in my opinion, he's a flashy foreigner. He'll score two goals for United.. when they are two up. But don't look for him to get in there when it hurts or to decide a game and be a matchwinner.
"For Fergie to sign a player who looked as if he was being phased out at Elland Road suggests he pushed the panic button. What he has done represents perhaps the biggest transfer gamble of his career at the club.
"Ferguson is becoming desperate in his quest to win the League for United, but his side can't score goals. I'm certain Cantona is not going to put that problem right. I cannot see him being the man who'll either get the goals or start Mark Hughes scoring.