MANCHESTER UNITED can improve again next season, and get closer to runaway leaders Manchester City, if they make the necessary signings this summer.
Supporters are already drawing up their list of positions that need some work, and players who could come in and improve the side.
The concern for United fans though is the amount of money that will be available to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer when the season ends.
In a recent media conference, the Norwegian stated that it could be another tough summer because of the pandemic, and not just for United, but many other sides across Europe.
In a week where United have appointed John Murtough to the new role of football director, and promoted former midfielder Darren Fletcher to the position of technical director, it’ll certainly be interesting to see what their approach to transfers is over the coming years.
United can no longer attract the best talent from across Europe to the club. I’m not trying to be controversial by saying that – it’s true.
If a player is interested in playing in the Premier League, they’re likely to want to head to the blue half of Manchester first – that’s the cold reality.
So, it’s unlikely that United will be in the running for players of the class of Erling Haaland when he eventually leaves Dortmund, unless they sell and generate some much-needed funds to add to the already depleted 'war chest'.
The first and obvious name United could sell to raise some cash is Paul Pogba. Pogba will enter the final year of his contract before the start of next season and has flirted with a move to another of Europe’s giants for the last couple of years.
Pogba’s performances have improved greatly this season, but he’s injured again and doubts about his on-field consistency remain.
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It feels like now is the right time to move him on, and if you look at some of United’s most impressive performances since Solskjaer took the job, the Frenchman has not always featured.
United will know that they’re unlikely to get the amount they paid for Pogba back, but a fee of around £50m doesn’t seem unreasonable.
Another United player who could be sold to create money for transfers and ease the wage bill, is David de Gea.
Now, if you were to ask me who the best goalkeeper at Old Trafford is, I’d still say De Gea – but the gap between him and Dean Henderson is closing quickly.
De Gea is reportedly on over £375,000 per week, and with the ever-improving Henderson starting to make more first team appearances, the difficult decision to move De Gea on, might be made.
Is it really possible to keep them both happy for another season?
The wildcard option that could be made available is Anthony Martial. Martial hasn’t had his finest 12 months. After ending last campaign on a high as United’s central striker, it hasn’t really happened for him this term.
It wouldn’t be unlike Martial to go on a good run between now and May, but if United are to win the league in the coming years, they need a more consistent and reliable goal scorer.
The likelihood of United selling all three is low. But Liverpool sold Philippe Coutinho, re-invested well and success followed. Solskjaer and United might have to do the same.
You can follow Tom McDermott on Twitter @MrTomMcDermott
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