With the transfer window slamming shut in the next few days, Manchester United still have work to do for this summer’s business to be considered an ultimate success.
Mason Mount, Andre Onana and Rasmus Hojlund have joined the ranks at Old Trafford for a combined fee north of £150millon, yet Erik ten Hag’s squad still looks short.
The United boss will be hoping his board can deliver some last-minute additions to give him the best chance of bridging the gap to the top of the Premier League this season.
It’s clear United are after a combative midfielder to help the team up, who has looked too open in the campaign’s early stages.
Sofyan Amrabat and Ryan Gravenberch are the two names widely linked with moving to Manchester, but official bids are yet to be made. United have also reportedly approached Tottenham regarding the availability of Pierre-Emile Højbjerg.
Amrabat has been a target for many weeks now, and with Fiorentina ready to sell for a fee of £25million, the player is highly likely to leave Italy this summer.
Ten Hag knows Gravenberch well from his time at Ajax, and Bayern are also willing to do business. Those above would give the manager a more robust option in his engine room.
Injuries to Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia have also forced United to look into the market for a left-back, with both players expected to be out for a prolonged period.
Diogo Dalot can plug the gap for now, but United are thin at the back and need a natural replacement.
A loan deal looks the most sensible given the circumstances, and a raft of players have been linked with the role; Chelsea’s Marc Cucurella, Tottenham’s Sergio Reguilon, and Lyon’s Nicolas Tagliafico are the front runners, but again, it’s interest rather than concrete offers at this stage.
In an ideal world, Ten Hag would surely also like to add an attacker to ease the load on new signing Hojlund who, at 20 years of age, will have to carry the entire burden of leading the line at Old Trafford this season.
However, United’s much published financial restraints are why the club isn’t able to deliver on the targets as quickly as they would like, and outgoings are still required if Ten Hag is to have his wishes granted.
First-team players such as Scott McTominay, Donny van de Beek, Eric Bailly and former captain Harry Maguire are up for sale, with the Maguire situation in particular in desperate need of a conclusion.
The on-and-off deal with West Ham is causing frustration, with United initially accepting a £30million offer, but Maguire was unwilling to budge.
It now looks as though Maguire has had a change of heart, but if he is to move, it will leave Ten Hag needing another centre-back, which could prove difficult with just days left in the window.
Maguire’s future would be better served away from Old Trafford, but his reluctance to leave when the offer was there has rejected the deal in limbo and hasn’t helped the club or the player.
With multiple issues still to resolve, the club faces another frantic end to the window, leaving fans frustrated that poor planning has left the manager in the position again.
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