When the transfer window is open, Manchester United are always at the forefront of the transfer news headlines and this window has been no different.
With Champions League football secured for next season, there is some clarity as to the positions that Man United intend to strengthen on priority before the start of next season.
The right flank at United has been a subject of concern for a long time now and although Mason Greenwood has done enough this season to stake a claim to the starting spot, he seems a much better fit up top where he's extremely clinical in front of goal.
Another potential area of improvement could be the addition of depth in the midfield which would be pivotal going into Europe's elite tier next season. The addition of a left-footed centre-back to partner Harry Maguire also seems like a priority this summer transfer window.
Strengthen the right-wing: Jadon Sancho
It's an open secret now that United have identified Jadon Sancho as their top priority transfer for this window to bolster their right-wing. As reported by Fabrizio Romano in the Guardian, United are in advanced talks with Borussia Dortmund to sign Sancho for an initial €100m (£90m) fee. Sancho is expected to sign a five-year contract at Old Trafford if the talks between the clubs prove to be successful.
👌🏻 that’s the situation for #Sancho.— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 4, 2020
Talks on. Personal terms are ok. It’s up to the two clubs and needs time.
Still not agreed about installments and add ons to arrive at final fee. But talks are on ‘day by day’ and no deadline. 🔴 https://t.co/F0wtB53azT
Jadon Sancho would be an excellent addition for United primarily on the right flank and would also provide added depth on the left-wing and in the No.10 position. Sancho has 17 goals and 16 assists for Borussia Dortmund in the 2019/20 Bundesliga season.
Depth in midfield: Jack Grealish/Donny Van de Beek
United have tended to struggle against high pressing opposition this season. And, with depth in midfield, a pertinent issue going into next season, the addition of a confident, ball-carrying midfielder who can resist the press becomes extremely important.
Jack Grealish would be a superb addition who ticks all the boxes in resisting high pressing opposition. After helping his boyhood club Aston Villa survive the drop on the final day of the season as club captain, Grealish seems set for a big move this summer, with United amongst his potential suitors.
However, as reported by Paul Hirst in the Times, Aston Villa's price tag of £80m could scupper any potential move for Grealish to Old Trafford.
With club finances impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, a cut-price move for Ajax's Donny Van de Beek could be a potential alternative to Jack Grealish.
Shoring up the defence: Gabriel Magalhaes / Pau Torres
Solskjaer is on the lookout for a left-footed centre-back to partner Maguire in the heart of the defence. And, as per Fabrizio Romano, United have held discussions with the agents of 22-year old Brazillian centre-back Gabriel Magalhaes of Lille, although no official talks have taken place between the two clubs as yet.
Gabriel Magalhães: Arsenal are in the race and have started talks with Lille. Napoli still interested but not moving yet because it’ll depend by Koulibaly future. Manchester United just had contacts with his agents but no talks with Lille atm. Game on. 🇧🇷 #AFC #MUFC #Napoli— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 6, 2020
Gabriel would be a solid addition to the United backline, as he's extremely comfortable on the ball with the ability to pick a pass and very adept at positioning to intercept and quell opposition attacks.
Another alternative for United in this area could be Villareal centre-back, Pau Torres. He has been solid in defence for the Spanish side this season and could do extremely well in a left-sided role at the heart of the United defence. As per Paul Hirst of The Times in an interview to Norwegian channel TV2, Pau Torres is on United's radar to bolster their defence this summer transfer window.
#mufc have been monitoring Villareal's centre-back Pau Torres for a long time. He is supposedly on Man City's shortlist too. He could end up at United with the club keen to strengthen in that area #mulive [@hirstclass, tv2]— utdreport (@utdreport) June 17, 2020
Although some added depth at left-back and defensive midfield could help United mount a challenge on all fronts next season, the general consensus seems to align to the fact that these positions are not necessarily seen as priorities this summer.
With United angling towards making at least three signings this summer transfer window, it'd be interesting to see if Ed Woodward & Co. can finally deliver what Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs, to build on a strong finish to this season.