Manchester United’s 46-year old Norwegian coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has handed over the owner of the club, the Glazer family, a list of seven players he intends to acquire this summer. A huge overhaul is on the cards at Old Trafford given the major transfer disasters of the past few seasons. Acquisitions will be done with great care so as not to repeat those same mistakes that lead to two very mediocre seasons. United have failed to break into the Top four of the Premier League in four of the past six seasons, ending up in the 6th spot this time around.
Huge acquisitions like those of Paul Pogba (£89 million) in 2016-17 and Alexis Sanchez (£70 million) and Romelu Lukaku (£75 million) in 2017-18 came a cropper with their inflated egos and reputations taking the club nowhere. The owners of United have spent close to £650 million since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013 and are still nowhere near to mounting a serious challenge for any title whatsoever.
With Ander Herrera already having left the club for Paris St Germain there’s every possibility that more big names could follow. Folks like David de Gea, Alexis Sanchez, Anthony Valencia, Romelu Lukaku, Paul Pogba and Juan Mata could be on that list. One of Solskjaer’s first priorities is looking for a winger having been seriously let down by Alexis Sanchez and Anthony Martial. The 23-year old Martial has frustrated both his coach and fans by his lack of consistency and commitment since the time he signed a deal a couple of years ago. 21-year old Swansea winger Daniel James is under the radar at Old Trafford after an aborted deal with Leeds United. The 19-year old English international Jadon Sancho is a even more preferred target of Solskjaer. But surprisingly, Sancho’s club Borussia Dortmund are not willing to part with him despite having splurged £45 million on bringing additional players in the form of Julian Brandt and Thorgan Hazard from Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Monchengladbach respectively.
Furthermore, Harry Maguire of Leicester City and Napoli center-back Kalidou Koulibaly are being considered to fill in the breach left by Herrera’s departure. Senegalese Idrissa Gueye, the Everton defensive midfielder, is under consideration in event of a Paul Pogba exit. The seven-man acquisition wish-list also includes Joao Felix, the 19-year old Portuguese mid-fielder playing for Benfica. One of the hottest properties in world football at the moment, Felix has been on the radar of leading clubs like Liverpool, Juventus and Manchester City. So, getting him could be really tough, which is why the management at Old Trafford are believed to be willing to pay the £105 million release clause needed to sign the Portuguese “wonder kid”.
Another Portuguese player, Bruno Fernandes, is also under Solskjaer’s lens. With 20 goals and 13 assists for his club, Sporting CP, the 24-year old Fernandes will be expected to add some much-needed creativity to the United midfield.
Last but not the least is the big question of bringing in Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale. While the 29-year old Welshman is not among Solskjaer’s primary targets, a move for the forward cannot be ruled out given that Los Blancos may suddenly want to offload him before the coming season begins.