If I were Solskjaer, I’d ask Ed Woodward to make five signings


If I were Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, I’d ask Ed Woodward to make five important signings this summer as a matter of priority: two centre-halves and three midfielders.

Manchester United can’t cure their problems in one transfer window but they have to think strategically to get even close to Manchester City and Liverpool.

Their transfer policy should be a mixture of ready-made buys and the best young players in the world.

Let’s start at the back. If Toby Alderweireld has a £25million buy-out clause from Tottenham as reported, go and get him.

He’ll bring experience and know-how, a 30-year-old at the peak of his powers who can provide leadership for United as Virgil van Dijk has done at Liverpool or Vincent Kompany has given for years at City.

However United shouldn’t just think here and now. They need to pay big bucks for players who can provide their spine for the next decade.

If Ajax’s Matthijs de Ligt, 19, hasn’t yet signed on the dotted line for Barcelona, try to intercept and get him to Old Trafford. United need world-class quality. De Ligt isn’t the finished article but in two or three years, he’ll be the best. I’ve spoken regularly about United’s midfield. I noticed they were lacking when they were outclassed by Paris Saint-Germain at Old Trafford and nothing has changed my mind.

They don’t have anyone who can be positionally disciplined and dictate play from a central area as Michael Carrick used to do.

If you’re United, who consider themselves one of the biggest clubs in the world, test the mettle of your rivals. You should have the financial power to tempt anyone.

Ajax’s Frenkie de Jong would have been ideal but it looks as if Barca have already sealed the deal. United have to move quickly and strongly this summer so others don’t escape the net.

I’m not convinced N’Golo Kante can be happy playing out of position at Chelsea, even though he doesn’t seem a lad who kicks up a fuss. Do what you can to see if Chelsea would be tempted by an £80m fee.

Try to find out if Kante would like to play in front of 76,000 fans every week as the undisputed No 1 holding midfielder. Carrick had the quality to keep the ball and supply ammunition for Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo, Dimitar Berbatov and Carlos Tevez.

Marco Verratti, 26, fulfilled that role well for PSG, giving Kylian Mbappe the freedom to express himself up-field.

Verratti would be a good buy for United. So would Andre Gomes, who has looked extremely accomplished on loan at Everton from Barcelona.

I’ve seen Arsenal linked with Gomes but United’s need is as great. Fred was meant to be the answer but we haven’t seen it.

When you recall how well Pogba played at the World Cup with Kante, imagine how they could dovetail at Old Trafford, particularly if Verratti or Gomes joins as well.

I’ve not selected any attackers because if United keep Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez and Juan Mata, they have enough firepower there alongside Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial. That situation changes if one or two leave, of course. United’s priority is the heart of defence and midfield. Signing Alderweireld, De Ligt, Gomes, Verratti and, above all, Kante would make a massive difference.


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