It looks as though Manchester United are set for the Europa League in 2016/17.
Two points behind Manchester City with one game to go, the Red Devils are hoping their local rivals slip up away at Swansea, and even then they will need to beat Bournemouth at home. This season has been largely underwhelming for the Old Trafford club, dull football and some fairly uninspired signings have tainted Louis van Gaal’s second year at United, leading to many calling for his sacking.
It remains to be seen if the Dutchman stays on into next campaign, an FA Cup win may provide a stay of execution, but regardless of who is in the dugout next year, a top four finish will be the minimum expectation. Ed Woodward will be on the lookout again for the latest batch of new signings to help achieve this objective but with the assertion that he doesn’t always get his acquisitions right, FootballFanCast provides FIVE players that will return United to the top four.
Raphael Varane’s playing time for Real Madrid has been limited with the likes of Sergio Ramos and Pepe in defence.
The Frenchman is now 23 and will be beginning to wonder if he’s ever going to be a first team regular under Zinedine Zidane. The young centre half has the ability to play for the best clubs in the world, he just needs a chance and would walk into the Red Devils’ line up next to Chris Smalling.
Another player that could be on his way out of the Spanish giants, Kroos is being linked with a host of Europe’s finest.
One of the best midfielders in the world and one of the first names on the Germany team-sheet, the former Bayern Munich man hasn’t hit the heights expected of him at Real, being outshone by Luka Modric. Kroos would command a hefty transfer fee, but United are one of the few clubs that could afford him and he’d immediately improve their midfield.
The big Belgian forward has been Everton’s best player this season and must want to show he can perform at the highest level.
18 goals in the Premier League this year highlight his quality and a move down the M62 would make sense for both parties. United have struggled without a proven striker this year – Wayne Rooney plays more as an attacking midfielder, whilst relying on Marcus Rashford would be very risky – so Lukaku would fit the bill at the club as he approaches his prime, making the attacking threat of the side much more substantial.
Another young defender, Marquinhos can play both as a centre half and a right back.
The young Brazilian has featured quite prominently for PSG this year, making 19 starts in Ligue 1 as the oil-rich French side strolled to another domestic title. He also boasts Champions League experience with six appearances in this year’s competition and that would serve him well at United as they aim for a top four return.
Griezmann has been one of the stars of La Liga this year and is set to be a leading light for the French national side at EURO 2016.
The Atletico Madrid man has become a top class forward who is just as adept at playing off of the main striker or down the left wing. 31 goals in all competitions this year have helped Atleti challenge for the Spanish league title, as well as reach the final of the Champions League, and whilst trying to sign him may be a tough task, it’s one United have the resources to complete.