May 13, 2021

Man Utd

News

Manchester United’s best and worst summer transfer scenarios this summer

5 min read

Manchester United have improved considerably this term and hold their Premier League top-four fate in their own hands heading into the final months of the season.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side started the season in poor form, experiencing a number of defeats at Old Trafford and suffering elimination from the Champions League group stages, which put the Norwegian boss under pressure.

However, a significant upturn has changed the fortunes for United this season and the campaign looks likely to end on a high, with the minimum objective of Champions League qualification being reached.

Crucially though, United have also provided some evidence that they can compete for the Premier League title if they can remain consistent throughout the course of an entire season.


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Like the majority of teams though, there is work to be done in the transfer market and there are a number of notable deals in the cards – with both incoming and outgoing pieces of business set to go ahead.

There’s the added complication of the European Championships this summer, delayed from last year, with players’ involvement in the tournament likely to hold up negotiations for a few weeks until their venture in the tournament comes to a close.

So what does United’s own list of priorities look like? What would a dream transfer window be? What would be a nightmare scenario? And what’s the reality?

The dream scenario

Solskjaer will certainly want to complete the majority of his transfer business early but, with the Premier League season drawing to a close on May 23 and the European Championships set to begin on June 11, there is a small window to complete business before the competition begins.

Perhaps crucially, Erling Haaland will not be involved this summer as Norway failed to qualify – meaning that negotiations with the Borussia Dortmund striker can continue during the tournament, though there will be a fierce fight for his services.

As reported by the MEN, United have earmarked 20-year-old Haaland as their priority target to bolster their attacking options this summer but getting a deal over the line, amid stern competition, will be a particularly difficult task – especially with Mino Raiola involved.



Erling Haaland trains with Borussia Dortmund
Erling Haaland trains with Borussia Dortmund

Elsewhere, finding a new centre-back partner for Harry Maguire is another big challenge for the club this summer and Jadon Sancho’s future is also of interest to United – but the MEN understands a right-winger is not a priority this summer, following the acquisitions of Facundo Pellestri and Amad.

In terms of outgoings, David de Gea’s future is likely to be a regular topic of discussion following Solskjaer’s decision to make Dean Henderson United’s de facto first-choice stopper this summer but, due to Euro 2020, that scenario is unlikely to be resolved until after Spain’s involvement.

Overall, there are 11 players at United who need their future to be resolved ahead of the summer window and swiftness in resolving the situations will be crucial.

The nightmare scenario

Whatever happens with Haaland this summer, it’s clear that the majority of fans in Europe and the majority of clubs in the hunt for the forward will be left disappointed – and United will be keen to avoid becoming one of those sides.

If Haaland doesn’t arrive, it would represent a huge blow for Solskjaer and finding an alternative option would become a necessity – although any selling club would know that United have an abundance to spend in this area due to the prices that will be commanded for Haaland’s services.

Overpaying for a back-up option or failing to land an adequate forward to add to the squad would be a big issue, particularly with Edinson Cavani likely to depart – an exit that will leave Solskjaer with limited options through the middle.



United are looking to sign a centre-back partner for Maguire

A similar occurrence in the hunt for a central-defensive partner for Maguire would represent another big blow and, once again, it’s a sellers’ market due to the fact it’s common knowledge that United have cash to spend.

Selling clubs will hope to encounter a situation like Leicester City found with Maguire, where they stood firm on their asking price and saw United eventually relent, while United will hope for a situation like Bruno Fernandes – where United were patient with their approach and didn’t buckle to Sporting Lisbon’s sky-high demands.

In regards to outgoing deals, a situation to be avoided would be approaching the start of the new season with question marks still orientating around the future’s of a number of players in the squad.

The Premier League is due to kick off on August 14, just over a month after the Euro 2020 final at Wembley.

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What will realistically happen

The situation involving Haaland is largely out of United’s hands, as the Norwegian forward and his representatives hold the trump cards. They know their suitors will wait, giving them plenty of time to thrash out the best deal and assess all their options.

A new centre-back may, therefore, be the first significant piece of business completed this summer and United can benefit from a fact that a number of potential targets, due to their nationality or standing at international level, will not be involved in this summer’s European Championships.

With outgoings, it’s again a scenario that will largely remain unsolved until after the conclusion of Euro 2020 as De Gea, Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard are among those pushing to be involved in the tournament.

Initially, the main departures are likely to be those with contracts expiring, like Cavani, or youngsters moving on loan to continue their development.

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