It’s set to be a pivotal summer transfer window for Manchester United over the coming months, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer attempts to close the gap to Manchester City.
The Red Devils finished 12 points behind their local rivals in the Premier League standings last season, highlighting the gulf in quality between the two sides.
However, several star names have been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford in recent weeks, and their arrivals could make for an intriguing title battle.
Key positions such as centre-back, right-wing, and holding midfield are thought to be high up on Solskjaer’s wish list, while a new contract for star man Paul Pogba has also been muted.
The World Cup-winning maestro excelled for United last season, but with just 12 months remaining on his current deal, there are fears he could depart this summer.
With that in mind, if Ed Woodward does manage to secure the club’s key transfer targets, how could Solskjaer’s starting XI look next season once the summer transfer window has concluded?
Here’s our prediction…
The Norwegian tactician has a huge decision to make when it comes to his first-choice goalkeeper. Dean Henderson was given the opportunity to impress at the backend of last season, but after making a string of errors, David de Gea was reinstated, and he may get the nod again for the start of 2021/22.
Ahead of the Spain international is likely to be a rather familiar back four, just with one key addition. Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka all impressed throughout the recently concluded campaign, yet doubts remain over the suitability of Victor Lindelof.
Real Madrid centre-back Raphael Varane has been touted as a possible replacement for the 26-year-old, yet the left-footed Villarreal defender Pau Torres has also caught United’s eye. The 6 ft 3 beast has a £55 million buyout clause in his contract and would be the ideal partner for Maguire.
In midfield, we fancy Pogba to commit his future to his boyhood club in an attempt to drag them to some silverware next season. He could be joined by West Ham United Declan Rice after a stellar campaign for the Hammers.
His £100m valuation could be a major stumbling block, though, yet with the possibility of Jesse Lingard moving in the opposite direction, it’s a deal that we think can still be made.
Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes will almost certainly take up their customary positions in the starting XI, and with football’s longest-running transfer saga appearing to be drawing to a close, Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho should be joining them.
The 21-year-old England international is expected to join the Old Trafford outfit in a £73m deal after a 12-month long pursuit, while the experienced Edinson Cavani will be hoping to get the nod over Mason Greenwood and Anthony Martial up-front.