Manchester United have their sights on bolstering four key positions as part of the next phase of the squad rebuild, according to Manchester Evening News.
The Red Devils spent over £220 million on six signings during the recent transfer window, and there has already been a notable impact in the club’s performances.
Christian Eriksen, Lisandro Martinez, Tyrell Malacia and Antony have become undisputed starters under Erik ten Hag while Casemiro is also working his way into the line-up.
Goalkeeper Martin Dubravka is the only one yet to make his debut. The Slovakian should get his chance with the packed schedule in the lead up to the World Cup.
Ten Hag recently hinted that the Red Devils are likely to make plans for January and next summer, and it is now reported that the club could bolster four key positions.
A right-back, a midfielder and a forward are among priorities for United while the goalkeeping situation could also be assessed in the long-term if required.
United need to continue backing Ten Hag in the transfer market
Ten Hag personally recommended the signings of Malacia, Martinez, Eriksen and Antony. The decision to back him has paid dividends with the quartet making a big impression.
Casemiro with his world-class attributes should also become a key player as the season progresses, but United still need to add more depth and quality into the first-team squad.
Diogo Dalot has been one of the players of the season from right-back, but there is barely any competition at the moment with Aaron Wan-Bissaka not in the manager’s plans.
Ten Hag was ready to offload him during the summer to sign Barcelona’s Sergino Dest, but the move was blocked by football director John Murtough. The decision has not proved worthwhile.
It won’t be a surprise if United actively pursue a new right-back at the turn of the year.
Meanwhile, a young number eight could be another priority for the manager. Christian Eriksen has turned out to be a superb acquisition on a free transfer. He has provided much-needed creativity.
However, the Dane will turn 31 in February next year, and United need to plan for the long-term.
The club could wait until next summer to make an ambitious move for Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham. A deal may largely depend on United securing Champions League football.
United’s purchase of a forward could also be dependent on Cristiano Ronaldo’s future. If the Portuguese were to push for a move in January, this could speed up the club’s process for a replacement.
In our view, a right-back should be the top priority this winter. A quality striker would be an added bonus, but the club should wait until next summer to land their marquee midfielder (Bellingham).
The goalkeeping situation could likewise be reviewed during the off-season. After controversial comments from Dean Henderson this summer, he may not have a future at the club.
Leeds United’s Illan Meslier could be a candidate to replace De Gea as the number one. Whether that happens next summer could be based on the club’s stance over the Spaniard’s contract.
De Gea’s current deal expires in June 2023, but United are set to trigger a 12-month extension clause. The club have a big decision to make, considering his hefty wages of around £375,000-a-week.
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