As the players returned to Carrington yesterday morning, there were a few new faces in the ranks. Over the next few weeks, it’s expected that there will be a couple more newbies joining before the new term begins.
So far Aaron Wan-Bissaka has joined youngsters Dillon Hoogewerf and Daniel James. And with Marcus Rashford also signing a new long term contract, it’s a young, energetic side taking shape for Ole.
A certain “You don’t win anything with kids” springs to mind, the now infamous assertion from Alan Hansen twenty four years ago after United were defeated 3-1 on the opening day of the season by Aston Villa. United would go on to claim the league and cup double, leaving Hansen with a portion of sunny side eggs all over his face! However with this current squad, you’d imagine his words would be pretty safe.
If Manchester United are to have any chance of competing this season, they are going to have to flex their financial muscle before the transfer window shuts on August 31st.
And the good news for all red devils fans is the rumours coming out of Old Trafford indicate the cheque book is not going away any time soon. On the shopping list are a centre back, a winger and an attacking midfielder, the latter depending on whether the problematic Paul Pogba situation is resolved.
Here are the big name players who feature:
1. Bruno Fernandes – Estimated fee £70m
Manchester United have a history of bringing Sporting Lisbon players to United. They will hope that should Fernandes be lining up at the Theatre of Dreams next season, that he emulates the successes of Nani and Ronaldo rather than that of Marcus Rojo. United face stiff competition to convince the Portuguese to sign, with Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester City all circling for the Portugal star.
2. Wilfried Zaha – Estimated fee £80m
The old adage in football is that you should never go back. If things go wrong you run the risk of damaging your legacy. In the case of Wilfried Zaha and Manchester United, the rules don’t really apply. Zaha’s time at United couldn’t have gone any worse, so this time round it would surely only get better. The Ivorian may have sent out a come-and-get-me plea to Arsenal a few weeks ago but with Palace making £45m on an academy player already this summer, they are under no pressure to sell their talisman on the cheap. The £80m valuation of Zaha from Palace will be too rich for Arsenal and with Zaha a favourite amongst some of the transfer committee at Old Trafford, Zaha may yet pull on the famous United red again.
3. Harry Maguire – Estimated fee £70m
It’s no secret that Manchester United need a new centre back and with the long-term fitness of Eric Bailly in major doubt, the England centre back is the top target to bolster up their leaky defence. If United can’t get their man, they will turn to Sean Longstaff of Newcastle but few of the Old Trafford faithful would see him as the blockbuster transfer they have been so accustomed to over the years.
Should Fenandes, Maguire and Zaha all join the Ole revolution, in an eye watering outlay of approximately £275m, United would be looking a fearsome proposition.
There would certainly be some debate about who the strongest first eleven would be and Maguire might have his work cut out with this attacking line-up but it’s hypothetical and we like exciting football at Pubity. It’s highly likely that there will be some leaving Manchester before a ball is kicked in anger but with the likes of Alexis, Lukaku, Mata, Matic, Lingard all potentially having to settle for a place on the bench, it would be one of the leagues strongest squads.