Manchester United have all eyes focused on the transfer window ahead of what is set to be a busy period for the club.
While 2020-21 season saw Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side make progress, the campaign ultimately ended in disappointment with the Europa League final defeat by Villarreal.
The European Championship this summer means fans itching for action to watch will not be disappointed but it does complicate matters for United in the market.
Solskjaer has his shortlist for his three main targets this summer, consisting of Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane, West Ham’s Declan Rice and Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho.
The trio are all set to be involved heavily with their respective nations this summer, with England and France both expected to venture deep into the competition – with the final falling just over a month before the start of the new Premier League season.
But the door is open for United to complete the deals and, while patience will be necessary, it could see Solskjaer have his dream starting line-up for next season.
Defensively, Varane has topped the pile for United in their search for a new central defender and the World Cup winner, 28, would come in as the partner in the middle of the park for Harry Maguire.
United are also monitoring the Villarreal defender Pau Torres but Varane is the preferable target as the Reds are keen to sign a player with experience.
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In front of them, Declan Rice would be a significant upgrade on United’s deep-lying midfield options and he can form a solid partnership with Paul Pogba, potentially allowing United to get the best out of their World Cup-winning midfielder.
Rice has helped propel West Ham to European football for the first time in over a decade and is a player United have been tracking for some time.
Having Rice alongside Scott McTominay would provide additional protection to the defence, allowing Shaw and Wan-Bissaka to have more involvement pushing forward, although a more likely option would be to utilise Pogba as his partner.
Bruno Fernandes, the first name on the teamsheet, would have attacking freedom, with Pogba able to have an impact in a role where he can be the catalyst for turning defence into attack.
That could work well for United, particularly with the option of partnering McTominay with Rice for matches when they would need to be more defensively solid, and would add further depth to the midfield.