Now that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been confirmed as manager on a three year contract, one would imagine we will start to see just who the Norwegian coach would like to bring in over the summer to bolster the ranks at Old Trafford.
While the focus switches back to the Premier League this weekend after the international break, with United hosting Watford as they bid to snatch a top four spot, Solskjaer knows he has a bigger picture on the horizon. He is acutely aware that the Theatre of Dreams giants have failed to hold aloft the top-flight silverware since Sir Alex Ferguson left in 2013.
Tottenham’s highly-rated defender Toby Alderweireld — available for only £25million — is widely accepted as a big target for Solskjaer, and the Belgian’s attributes are there for all to see as is the reasoning behind the manager’s overtures to capture him.
But former United player Phil Neville says the club should be looking to snare another ex-Spurs ace in the shape of Real Madrid star Gareth Bale.
Neville reckons Bale is a no-brainer, while he has a raft of other targets he believes his former club should go in for – including a couple of recruits such as Raphael Varane from Real Madrid and Joao Cancelo from Juventus to stiffen the resolve in the club’s often faltering rear guard.
Neville, who played for United on 263 occasions before joining Everton in 2005 for an eight-year stint, said: “Bale is ready-made. Ole has said he wants to buy a hungry player. I think Jadon Sancho (currently at Borussia Dortmund) is that hungry player. But Bale has won Champions Leagues and played at the top level.
“I don’t think wages are an issue at Manchester United. You are talking guaranteed quality who can play across the front line. The two signings in the back four would be Raphael Varane who is at Real Madrid and Joao Cancelo who is at Juventus.
“Cancelo, I worked with him at Valencia and have seen him at Juventus and I think he’s top drawer. Eric Dier as the holding midfield player and Philippe Coutinho, who there has been a bit of speculation about. You have to have British players in a title-winning team. Ander Herrera, Fred and Scott McTominay are part of the squad. Nemanja Matic, this season, has had a dip.”
Meanwhile, United will play three additional matches as part of the summer tour. The Red Devils will take on Inter Milan at the National Stadium Singapore on 20 July, before going to Shanghai to face Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur at the Hongkou Stadium on 25 July.
A third match is also scheduled against AC Milan on 3 August, to be played at the Principality Stadium, Cardiff. These matches are in addition to the two previously announced matches on 13 and 17 July, against Perth Glory and Leeds United respectively, at the Optus Stadium, Perth, Australia.