Manchester United chief Ed Woodward could do a lot worse than looking at free agents when it comes to bolstering Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side. The Red Devils have enjoyed a successful Premier League campaign but know they require more if they’re to win the title next time out. So here are four freebies the club should target when the transfer window reopens.
Memphis Depay was a huge flop during his time at United.
Signed by Louis van Gaal in the summer of 2015, the Netherlands international was then sold by Jose Mourinho 18 months later.
Depay has rebuilt his career at Lyon, however, scoring 14 goals and registering nine assists in Ligue 1 this term.
And with that the case, there’s no denying United would benefit from the potential return of the Dutchman.
Especially with the likes of Jadon Sancho and Ousmane Dembele likely to cost a premium, with both players on Solskjaer’s radar.
THINK YOU KNOW SPORT? Test your sporting knowledge with our tricky quiz
United have been here before.
They tried to sign Sergio Ramos from Real Madrid back in 2015, during Van Gaal’s time as manager and at a time where Los Blancos were keen on David De Gea.
In the end, Ramos stayed put.
But the Spain international looks likely to leave the Bernabeu this summer after 16 years of glittering service.
And, if United were to sign Ramos, they’d be signing a player with the experience of winning the biggest and best prizes on offer.
Manchester City may have publicly downplayed their chances of signing Erling Haaland but Pep Guardiola is still very much keen on the Norway international.
So if City did sign Haaland, United should do everything they can to bring Messi to Old Trafford.
Of course, it’s unlikely. But it would be a significant deal, probably the biggest in Premier League history. Oh, and he’d sell a fair few shirts too…
While United want to strengthen the club, though, Solskjaer recently warned fans not to expect any expensive signings.
“[The pandemic] is definitely affecting everyone in football. Of course the lack of income, the finances have affected everyone,” he said.
“We have to be realistic and responsible in the way we do our business both on and off the pitch. There are improvements on the training ground, stadium – we have to look at the whole picture.
“Where can we spend the money? And how much is there? It’s just the real world now. It has changed.”
Solskjaer added: “You can look at it different ways [with a] rebuild. We also have players in the academy that we now can maybe give opportunities.
“All clubs in the world are going through the same situation so it’s no different for other clubs than for us. I think there’s just going to be less and less transfers happening in the world of football with all these changes.”