Louis van Gaal this week revealed his intention to bring a game changer to Old Trafford.
A busy summer has already seen Memphis Depay, Morgan Schneiderlin, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Matteo Darmain and Sergio Romero all arrive at the club, adding strength and depth.
However, the departures of Radamel Falcao, Robin van Persie and the increasingly likely Angel Di Maria have left attacking options in the squad a little bare.
Wayne Rooney will lead the line for the Red Devils over the course of next season, but another attacking option looks set to arrive.
The annual come-home-Cristiano link has reared its ugly head once more, but the Madrid maestro looks set to stay in Spain for at least another season.
To compete with the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City at the summit of the Premier League, the red side of Manchester ideally need another world class attacking talent. Where the Blues have Eden Hazard, Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas, cross-city rivals possess David Silva, Sergio Aguero and now Raheem Sterling.
United chief van Gaal has identified this and looks set to splash the cash on a ‘Gaalactico’ to ‘compete with those kind of clubs.’
Here are the contenders to light up Old Trafford this season.
The Barcelona wing man has fallen down the pecking order now the Catalan side field a ludicrously talented front three. The term ‘Galactico’ may not instantly conjure up images on the Spain international, but United would be wise to make a move for him.
Though understated, the La Masia graduate has won everything to win in the game. He has been no passenger in the great Barca and Spanish sides over the past half a decade or so, scoring important goals at important times.
Red Devils fans will remember his opener in the 2011 Champions League final.
Should Pedro arrive at Old Trafford, he provides a killer instinct to help Rooney grab the goals to shoot United up the league.
Earning the nickname ‘The King of Finals’, Pedro is a big game player. For a reported £22m, van Gaal would be picking up a world class forward who can play across the front line.
He may not be as dynamic as Di Maria, but the ice-cool World Cup winner would slot nicely next to compatriot Juan Mata.
The headlines write themselves. The Bayern Munich star enjoyed a good relationship with van Gaal while he coached him at the German giants. The arrival of former team mate Bastian Schweinsteiger indicates the value of a good player-coach relationship.
That aside, Thomas Mueller would be perhaps the best signing Ed Woodward could make.
A versatile attacker, his all-rounder like attitude would suit the Premier League down to tee. Linked with a £70m move to England, United would be buying proven class.
Able to operate as one of the three behind a central striker, the 2014 World Cup winner even has technique to play up top. Described as ‘impervious to pressure’ by his national team coach, it boggles the mind how many strikes he could plunder with the likes of Rooney, Mata and Memphis Depay providing the service.
Despite being a known favourite of hard-nosed Madrid president Florentino Perez, France hitman Karim Benzema has been linked with a move away from Spain.
Incoming Los Blancos coach Rafa Benitez is known to favour a 4-2-3-1 formation when setting up his team. The former of ex-United icon Cristiano Ronaldo makes it nigh on impossible to drop the World Footballer of the Year.
Gareth Bale, Isco and James Rodriguez are expected to fill the slots behind CR7, with Benzema set to miss out.
The purchase of Benzema would be ideal for a team like United. Not only can he boast an impressive haul of 130 strikes in 209 starts, but it is how the former Lyon star brings other to play that can help van Gaal’s side challenge for top honours.
He has the football intelligence to act as somewhat of a ‘false 9’. An integral, and often overlooked, member of the famed BBC front line, the French international would work wonders with players such as Mata and Wayne Rooney.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic would usually get the nod, as so many of us want to see the enigmatic Swede ply his trade on these shores. However, with club captain Wayne Rooney reverting to centre forward, the PSG captain is unlikely to want to play second fiddle.
Instead, Germany winger Marco Reus is not a bad alternative. The deadly winger has been linked with a move to Liverpool of all places, but surely Ed Woodward could tempt him to the Theatre of Dreams should he decide to leave boyhood club Borussia Dortmund.
Reus adds a dynamism found lacking in last summer’s marquee arrival, Angel Di Maria. The ‘creativity’ van Gaal has wished for his side would arrive in abundance as soon as the BVB talisman steps through the door.
A wonder goal against Juventus in pre-season is a mere snippet of what van Gaal would be purchasing. Argentine star Di Maria could not get going in England, but German international Reus can provide many of the same qualities.
Reus and Depay either side of Mata or Ander Herrera is a mouth-watering image.
Two lethal wide forwards arriving up top with Wayne Rooney dispel the need for another out and out centre forward, and provides perhaps the most fluid attacking line in the world (this side of Barcelona.)
The Holy Grail. Sentiment may wish for a Ronaldo return, but an astronomical fee for the Portugal captain appears to have cooled United’s interest.
The world’s most expensive player was extensively linked with a move to England after a frustrating second season in the Spanish capital. The Welsh wing Wizard is THE signing Manchester United need to make, whether it be this season or next.
How many times over the past few years have we heard of this famous ‘Manchester United Way’? Attacking wing play to bulldoze any team who dare take on the famous Reds.
Bale is the ideal player to embody such a tactic. He looks set to give his Madrid career another go, but a return to Britain must be on the cards at some point in his young career. Should the chance arise, van Gaal must go and get Gareth.
CR7 may be the romantic choice, but his team mate makes far more sense. A younger alternative, his lethal wing play is both reminiscent of the Portuguese and a breath of fresh air.
A raging bull wherever he plays, Bale has everything it takes to be an Old Trafford icon.