Manchester United’s important summer transfer window is set to begin, with the club seeking the additions needed to propel them to the next level.
United are in the market for a central defender, a right-sided forward and a central midfielder – with Raphael Varane, Jadon Sancho and Declan Rice the three main players being eyed.
Each of the trio would provide a significant boost to the squad, as United look to challenge for a first Premier League title since Sir Alex Ferguson’s final season in charge.
In order to do so, the entire team must be on the same page, particularly after a year that has seen a number of complications.
United’s defeat in the Europa League final by Villarreal has raised the pressure on Solskjaer once again, bringing an end to a second half of the season where he had seemingly wiped away those doubts with significantly improved form.
Questions have been asked as to whether the former striker is the right man to take United forward and he needs to be given all the resources this summer to answer that next season – particularly given the situation on the managerial market.
Real Madrid, following the departure of Zinedine Zidane, turned to Carlo Ancelotti, snatching the experienced Italian from Everton to lead the club for a second spell.
Meanwhile, Massimiliano Allegri is back at Juventus for a second stint too.
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It’s a scenario that is being played out fairly regularly. Tottenham, in their hunt for a new boss, were reported to be considering former coach Mauricio Pochettino earlier this week, while The Times reported that West Ham boss David Moyes was under consideration for a return to Goodison Park following Ancelotti’s swift escape.
That proves the fact that the managerial market for top bosses at the moment is very slim, with Bayern Munich landing Julian Nagelsmann from RB Leipzig – the one candidate who stands out as a potential elite recruit for clubs on the hunt.
Pep Guardiola is settled into life at Manchester City, tied down until 2023, with Jurgen Klopp having similar stability at Liverpool.
Diego Simeone looks like he’ll remain a part of the Atletico Madrid furniture until the end of time, with the only standout name available this summer being Antonio Conte – who left Inter Milan shortly after leading the San Siro side to the title.
With the household names all past their peak or being comfortable in their roles, the eyes are being cast towards the next batch of custodians – but many of them still need to get more stripes on their shirt before they can be considered for jobs like United.
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Marco Rose, having caught the eye with Borussia Monchengladbach, is braced for a new challenge with Borussia Dortmund, Steven Gerrard needs a bigger test having led Rangers to league glory, Ralph Hassenhuttl has earned plaudits with Southampton but needs more on his CV and Ajax boss Erik ten Hag, surprisingly, remains with the Eredivisie side.
They are among the names who could become among the best managers available in the coming years but the fact of the matter is, so could Solskjaer. While there are question marks over his long-term suitability, there’s certainly been enough to warrant sticking by him.
In order to get the best out of him, he needs to be backed in the transfer market – something that didn’t happen with Mourinho prior to his departure from Old Trafford and ultimately held back the Portuguese boss and his squad.
If United truly want to find out if Solskjaer is the right man for the foreseeable future, then they need to hand him the right resources to have the opportunity to prove his worth and this summer is the perfect time to do exactly that.