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Manchester United finalise five-man shortlist for the summer transfer window

Manchester United have reportedly finalised their five-man transfer shortlist according to reports by the Evening Standard. It would seem that there is something developing in Manchester regarding United’s transfer business, as ultimately there will need to be this summer in order for manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to be able to challenge the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City for the Premier League title next season. United finished third this season, but still 33 points adrift of Liverpool.

United will obviously be concentrating on their UEFA Europa League quarter-final against FC Copenhagen on Monday evening in Cologne, Germany, however, the summer transfer window will need just as much concentration from the clubs hierarchy as United will need some significant rebuilding this summer with quality lacking across the squad and many players seemingly on their decline in the game. Whether this information is true though, remains to be seen.

United have been linked to Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho all summer and the 20-year-old remains the clubs number one target this summer, however the supposed deadline will expire on Monday with United needing to pay £108 million to sign the player from the Germany club. With their bullish nature for the fee they desire, United are said to be looking at alternatives, just like they were with Bruno Fernandes and Harry Maguire – not that it means anything now.

United are said to be seeking a loan spell for Bayern Munich winger Kingsley Coman, which seems to be a strange one with the Bundesliga champions not likely to weaken their squad to benefit United. This was reported in the past month and despite the words written, seemed to be unbelievable, despite being played off as an actual rumour. Another player linked to United is Aston Villa attacking midfielder Jack Grealish, but his £80 million fee is not something that could get this deal rolling, in my opinion.

Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek is also a player suggested to be on the shortlist this summer. The Dutchman was linked to the club earlier this year with Real Madrid tipped to sign the player at the time, however, with the coronavirus pandemic, it seemed unlikely that the Spanish club would be making any high-profile signings this summer. That remains to be seen after they were knocked out of the UEFA Champions League at the hands of Manchester City on Friday evening.

Juventus central defender Mathijs de Ligt is also suggested to be a target, despite United missing out on the player last summer, United are said to still hold interest in the player. This all seems too good to be true as all of the player on this list will be highly priced this summer. If Sancho will cost £108 million and Grealish £80 million, it would seem unlikely that United will sign many of them this summer. It is important that United sign a winger, a midfielder and a central defender this summer, so the five players may not all arrive, jus a minimum of three of them, which could cost less than £250 million, which might be a good summer for United.

Written by John Walker

Ole Gunner Solskjaer tells Manchester United board to back him this summer

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has reportedly told the Old Trafford clubs board to go for it this summer. After guiding his team to a third placed finish in the Premier League this season and therefore earning UEFA Champions League football next season, the confidence that this has brought out of the Norwegian has left him thinking that he can take on the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City in the race to lift the Premier League title next season.

Whilst this may not be the actual outcome of the 2020/21 season, just seeing United in the same form they have been in this season for the entirety of next season would be positive. Even if they finish five or six points adrift of the eventual champions, it would be a major positive post-Sir Alex Ferguson, which was the last manager to truly compete in the Premier League. Jose Mourinho did achieve a second-placed finish but his side were 19 points adrift of City that season.

With Champions League football in the bag, Solskjaer will know that he has more chance of attracting the better players in football which is what he needs to attract to continue his rebuild of the club. Jadon Sancho is the player linked with a move to United and he is likely to cost upwards of £100 million, which is a massive fee to be paid this summer if both United are Borussia Dortmund end up concluding a deal for the 20-year-old. It has been stated by Neil Custis of The Sun that United have £140 million to spend this summer. If true, Solskjaer will have to be frugal.

The report states that Solskjaer has given executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward his transfer list this summer, which is probably something that was handed over earlier in the year with the manager having three months to look at a number of players that may have been scouted from the start of the season, giving the manager time to create a strategic list of targets for all of the positions that he wants to strengthen in his squad this summer. Solskjaer knows the extra demands that will be expected from his players now. The Sun reported him as saying:

“The club know what I feel we need and we will try and pursue it and see where we end up.

“The Champions League means better opposition for this team next year, bigger games, and we need to step it up because every week in the Champions League you have to play your best team.”

It is likely to be a big summer for United. The coronavirus pandemic has not helped United’s preparations and will probably hinder them going forward as 2020 seems to be one of those strange years that is going to keep everyone guessing as to what can and will happen. United’s season is not fully over though with the club returning to UEFA Europa League action on Wednesday next week before embarking on the latter stages of the competition in a mini tournament in Germany.

Written by John Walker

copyright: JW