It has been another disappointing season for Manchester United.
Despite an eye-catching recruitment campaign last summer, the Red Devils are already out of the Champions League while their hopes of landing a top-four finish in the Premier League hang in the balance.
United’s Champions League last-16 exit at the hands of Atletico Madrid means they are suffering their worst trophy drought in 40 years.
The Old Trafford side will have to produce another massive transfer window to boost their chances of claiming the first piece of silverware since the 2007 Europa League triumph under Jose Mourinho.
Let’s take a look at the Manchester United transfer news and the five key areas they should strengthen in the summer to achieve that feat.
Man United’s long-term pursuit of Raphael Varane came to fruition last summer when they completed the Frenchman’s long-awaited signing from Real Madrid.
Though 28-year-old’s arrival led many to believe Harry Maguire could develop in the Red Devils’ version of Virgil van Dijk, the duo has never clicked together.
With Ajax boss Erik ten Hag in the driving seat to take over the managerial reins at Old Trafford in the summer, Jurrien Timber has emerged as a potential defensive solution for United’s defensive woes.
The 20-year-old has established himself as a permanent first-team fixture at the Johan Cruyff Arena during Ten Hag’s trophy-laden reign and the Dutchman wants to bring the youngster with him to the Premier League.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s frequent blunders and well-documented attacking limitations have forced Ralf Rangnick to strip him of a starting berth at the Theatre of Dreams.
Diogo Dalot has grown into a regular starter in the German’s starting XI, yet the Portuguese right-back does not give the impression of being a Man United material.
If the Red Devils were to mount a genuine title bid next term, they should follow the examples of Liverpool and Manchester City.
You do not have to look beyond the impact Trent Alexander-Arnold and Kyle Walker have had to understand the significance of having a reliable option on the flank.
#3 Deep-lying midfielder
With all due respect to Fred, his occasional flashes of brilliance are not enough to cement his place in Man United’s double-pivot.
Nemanja Matic is well past his prime. But the Serb’s influence on the game was off the charts at his peak powers, something the Red Devils lacked so desperately this season.
Therefore, United should make capitalising on their long-term interest in West Ham United ace Declan Rice their number one priority this summer.
The 23-year-old has been a focal point of the Hammers’ renaissance under David Moyes. Indeed, his ability to control the game pace from deep in the midfield has made him one of the best in the business.
#2 Advanced midfielder
It is now a near-certainty that Paul Pogba will not be part of Man United’s dressing room next season after rejecting the club’s bid to pledge his future to Old Trafford.
Despite his topsy-turvy six-year spell in the Premier League, the Frenchman’s playmaking skills have often been paramount to United’s set-up.
The Red Devils have identified Borussia Dortmund rising star Jude Bellingham as a perfect candidate to replace Pogba, though his signing would require another substantial financial sacrifice.
Back in Sir Alex Ferguson’s trophy-laden era in Manchester, United had the likes of Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Roy Keane operating in the engine room.
One of the key factors for success in modern football is a top-class midfield, so the Old Trafford powerbrokers should not think twice before committing to Dortmund’s asking price for their highly-rated starlet.
Edinson Cavani will part with Man United at the end of the season after finding his first-team opportunities at a premium under Rangnick.
A lack of an out-and-out striker has cost United dearly this term. Cristiano Ronaldo has carried his team forward with class and purpose, yet it has proved insufficient.
Dortmund’s Erling Haaland would be a dream signing, but the Norwegian is wanted by virtually every top club in Europe, making United’s bid to land him far-fetched.
On that ground, the Red Devils have their eyes laid on Tottenham Hotspur talisman Harry Kane, while up-and-coming Darwin Nunez of Benfica remains another possibility.