It looks set to be a busy summer at Manchester United.
With the Reds having made progress under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this season and a second-placed Premier League finish looking highly likely after Sunday’s 3-1 win over Tottenham, focus must now turn to closing the gap on league leaders Manchester City.
It means there will likely be some incomings in the summer transfer window as Solskjaer looks to strengthen areas where his side have been lacking this season, such as being able to break teams down and having an out-and-out striker leading the line.
With that in mind, we have taken a look at what United’s dream summer transfer window would look like.
United’s two priority areas this summer are a centre-forward and a centre-back as they look to improve the spine of the team.
The Reds have earmarked Erling Haaland as their priority transfer target in order to bolster Solskjaer’s attack.
Edinson Cavani’s bright performances this season have shown how effective United can be when they have an out-and-out centre-forward in the side, but the veteran Uruguayan is unable to play every game.
Therefore, beating the sizeable competition for Haaland’s signature and landing the 20-year-old from Borussia Dortmund would be a huge boost for the club, although with a reported asking price of £150million, along with fees needing to be paid to agent Mino Raiola and large wage demands, this will not be a cheap deal for United.
At centre-back, United are eyeing up a move for Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane, who is approaching the final year of his contract.
The MEN understands Los Blancos are prepared to sell the centre-back this summer amid pessimism that he will accept their offer of a new contract.
With Real Madrid having been hit hard by the pandemic, the risk of losing Varane on a free transfer could force them into selling this summer – and perhaps at a lower price than they would usually consider.
United do not have the right-wing position on their list of priorities this summer – but they are not ruling out a renewal of interest in Jadon Sancho.
Dortmund appear to have indicated a willingness to listen to offers for Sancho this summer after a dip in form following his move to Old Trafford falling through last summer.
Whilst not a priority, United would find it difficult to turn down a chance to sign Sancho, whose arrival, along with Haaland, would give the Reds one of the most feared attacks in the Premier League.
Of course, signing both Haaland and Sancho will not be cheap, and United would have to sanction player sales in order to achieve this.
Jesse Lingard‘s recent form at West Ham has seen plenty of clubs alerted to the fact he could be available to sign in the summer.
Whilst some have speculated the attacking midfielder could still have a role to play at Old Trafford, the dream scenario for United is that Lingard’s form kickstarts a bidding war over his future in order to fund moves for both Sancho and Haaland.
Lingard’s United contract expires next year and his form on loan will have likely upped his value more so than had he stayed at Old Trafford and been on the fringes of Solskjaer’s side.
United can ask for a minimum of £20m for Lingard, but this could rise should more clubs become interested in him.
Another player on his way out would be Diogo Dalot, who has spent this season on loan at AC Milan.
Despite recently earning praise from Milan boss Stefano Pioli, Dalot remains somewhat of an unknown quantity at the San Siro, having made just 12 Serie A appearances this season.
At 22, though, the Portuguese full-back still has a bright future in the game, which could well see Milan tempted to part with some money to sign him.
If not, then in this dream scenario, United would be able to find another willing buyer, with the Reds’ asking price said to be around €20m.
United have been linked with some midfielders ahead of the summer window, but Paul Pogba signing a new contract would mean the Reds would no longer need to strengthen in the middle of the park.
Pogba is approaching the final year of his contract at United and has arguably enjoyed his most consistent season since returning to Old Trafford in 2016.
His agent Raiola said in December that Pogba’s time at United was over, but since then both the player and Solskjaer have spoken optimistically over the chances of signing a new deal.
Should he stay, it would ensure United are not solely relying on Bruno Fernandes for creativity in midfield, and also free up transfer funds for other areas of the pitch.
Another player whose United future is up in the air is Cavani.
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The striker’s performance against Spurs at the weekend outlined exactly what the 34-year-old can offer United – even if there are some frustrations at his injury record this season.
Should United agree a new deal with the Uruguayan forward, then it will provide the Reds with added depth in attack, especially if they are able to land Haaland.
His experience will also prove vital to helping younger forwards like Mason Greenwood hone their game.