Why the transfer window is different this summer
Now the 2017/18 club football season has reached its conclusion, supporters and reporters alike are engaging in the annual summer game of speculating on which players Manchester United and our rival clubs will sign for 2018/19. But this particular transfer window comes with a new twist.
Deadline will loom larger this summer
The summer 2018 transfer window for Premier League clubs will close - or slam shut if you prefer the media vernacular - on Thursday 9 August 2018 at 17:00 BST.
The deadline has been brought forward by 21 days after teams in the top flight voted September last year to stop signing players before the first ball of the 2018/19 campaign is kicked. The window is still open for 12 weeks, as stipulated by FIFA rules, so the start date was also earlier this year, falling just after the 2017/18 Premier League season ended.
What about clubs outside the Premier League?
England's Football League clubs agreed to close their window at the same time as the Premier League, so it's also 9 August for the Championship and Leagues One and Two. However, overseas it's a different story.
The transfer deadline for clubs on the continent is still the old one, 31 August, so European sides will be able to add to their squads up to three weeks after their English counterparts have stopped. This will include the ability to buy players from teams in England, so Premier League bosses may have to brace themselves for bids from La Liga or Bundesliga, for example, and recruit replacements in advance.
How would this have affected what we did last summer?
If the earlier deadline had been enforced in 2017, then all three of United's new acquisitions would still have been comfortably completed inside the window.
The first of Jose Mourinho's signings last summer was Victor Lindelof from Benfica, announced on 14 June. The Sweden international was followed into Old Trafford almost a month later by Romelu Lukaku, with the Belgian forward arriving from Everton on 10 July.
The club's final first-team buy of 2017 was Nemanja Matic, from the manager's former club, Chelsea. The Serbian signed for the Reds on 31 July.
Late-night shopping - United's deals done long after the new deadline
The Reds have worked until August and beyond - and late into the night too - to get some buys over the line, with some transfers being confirmed in the early hours of the morning.
Rewind back to 2013 and the deadline-day signing of Marouane Fellaini. The towering Belgian's arrival from Everton was announced on ManUtd.com at 02:00 BST on 3 September, actually a few hours after the deadline - dispensation was permitted because the necessary parts of the paperwork had been completed in time.
The following season, United's football admin staff worked another epic shift, when signing Radamel Falcao on a season-long loan from AS Monaco. The Colombian was confirmed as a United player at 01:30 BST on 2 September 2014.
A year later, Anthony Martial was another star who arrived when the window was about to close - ManUtd.com confirmed his deal was done on 1 September, at 17:15 BST.