Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can be excused for possibly being in two minds ahead of the start of the European Championship on Friday.
On the one hand the Manchester United manager might well appreciate the break from intense daily duties and the media spotlight on him given the nature of the campaign which has just concluded, while on the other he’ll no doubt be worried about potential setbacks for a number of his key players.
Though there is a clear balance to be struck. Early eliminations for some of the much-fancied nations would likely give Solskjaer more time to work with the bulk of his squad during pre-season, but on the other hand success in the Euros could add much-needed confidence to a squad which is yet to win a trophy during his tenure.
It’s easy to see why a major international tournament can be argued as either a blessing or a curse dependant on a manager’s own selfish needs.
But there is one thing which is for certain – it is a great chance for United players to do their part in selling the club’s targets and strategy to prospective signings in a relaxed transfer pitch.
Player’s social media posts ahead of the tournament have already been hijacked by supporters hungry for new signings, while any future pictures of a United star with a transfer target are also sure to go viral only seconds after they have been published.
There’s good reason too.
Back in April United confirmed England internationals attached to other clubs have asked current players about the club, with MEN Sport revealing West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice spoke to Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw about their time at Old Trafford.
Football director John Murtough and technical director Darren Fletcher dialled into a fans’ forum on April 16 and, in the minutes that list the speakers as ‘JM&DF’, it reads: “Darren noted that they had heard that from players going away with England [and] other national teams that people have started to ask questions about Manchester United again.”
Marcus Rashford remains one of the most popular players in the senior England set-up and is sure to give glowing reviews of the club which nurtured his talent to any international teammate who would like an insight.
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Transfer target Jadon Sancho already has a warm rapport with United duo Rashford and Jesse Lingard and the winger confided in friends he could see himself returning to Manchester before he left for Dortmund earlier in his career.
Paul Pogba possesses a similar sense of authority in the France national team and could be asked about the club by Raphael Varane while away on international duty. Fellow defensive target Pau Torres will spend the start of the summer in the Spain squad along with David de Gea.
Ultimately any new additions will still need to be sold on the plan Solskjaer presents to them and be convinced about the role which they can play in mounting a serious Premier League title challenge next season.
There is still plenty of hard work to do as United work on landing new recruits, but those already at the club could certainly make the job of persuading them to join that little bit easier.