In order to continue their rebuild under Erik ten Hag, Man Utd will have a busy summer.
In order to get ready for another significant summer transfer window, Manchester United has already started working hard.
The emphasis now is on moving Erik ten Hag’s rebuild to the next level with a few judicious additions. During his first season with the club, ten Hag laid some strong foundations.
This summer, United will look to improve a few starting positions as well as the depth of their entire squad by displacing fringe players with alternatives more compatible with their preferred style of play.
The biggest problem for United is that any additional additions will need to be paid for through player sales, even though they should be able to afford a top striker this summer.
This indicates that players who are either free agents, have modest release clauses, or are not among the best players in their respective roles are filling the remaining roster spots.
Harry Kane is Ten Hag’s no.1 attacking addition, and Victor Osimhen is also intriguing. In the event that neither of their top two choices can be signed, United are also keeping an eye on Rasmus Højlund and Randal Kolo Muani as less expensive options.
At the end of the season, United would also like to add another creative midfielder to their squad, but this is one position where they most likely won’t be able to afford a top target.
The club is interested in both Frenkie de Jong and Jude Bellingham, but it’s unlikely that United would be able to sign both of them in addition to a top-tier striker.
In light of the fact that Youri Tielemans’ contract with Leicester is about to expire, he might therefore be the perfect addition. The 25-year-old has already established himself in the Premier League and may be the ideal candidate for a squad spot as Christian Eriksen’s backup in the upcoming campaign.
Right-back is a different area that needs improvement. In order to fill that position with a more attack-minded player, United have spoken with the agents of Bayer Leverkusen defender Jeremie Frimpong. Ten Hag is eager to do so.
Any candidate for this position would need to be acquired through the sale of one of two players: Diogo Dalot or Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Ten Hag is undecided as to which player would be more effective in his team’s long-term plans.
This summer, United may bring in five new players.
If one of their current defenders leaves, United will probably also be looking for a replacement at center back. Even in the midst of a defensive crisis, Harry Maguire appears to be the player most likely to leave given his recent expulsion from the starting lineup, but that depends on finding a replacement willing to match his high asking price.
Given that they will likely be joining as a third or even fourth choice, finding a central defender willing to play on a rotational basis for the team will be a challenging task for United. Last summer, Ten Hag had his eye on Jurrien Timber, who may very well be on his radar once more for this position.
The goalkeeping options at United might also be improved. Despite ongoing doubts about his suitability for Ten Hag’s preferred playing style, David de Gea is expected to remain the top choice for the upcoming season.
It might be best for United to sign a backup player right away so that he can train with De Gea for an entire season before taking over as goalkeeper in the future.
One choice is Croatian goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic, whose contract with Dinamo Zagreb reportedly includes a €10 million release clause. As his contract with Brentford draws to a close, United could also make an approach for Brentford goalkeeper David Raya, though it might be challenging to persuade him to play a supporting role in the upcoming campaign.
They could also increase the options available to their senior squad by giving returning loanees like Amad and Alvaro Fernandez a chance, while academy graduate Kobbie Mainoo could be given more opportunities in the first team.
The possible 25-man squad for Manchester United next season:
De Gea, Heaton, Livakovic, Dalot, Dumfries, Varane, Lindelof, Martinez, Timber, Shaw, Malacia, Casemiro, Eriksen, Fred, Tielemans, Maino, Fernandes, Van de Beek, Antony, Amad, Sancho, Rashford, Garnacho, Martial, Kane.