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Insight: Who should Man Utd sign?

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United finished sixth in the Premier League, failing to qualify for the Champions League

Last Updated: 16/05/19 3:32pm

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted Manchester United are set for a big summer, but can they attract the big-name players to Old Trafford after their failure to qualify for the Champions League?

What we know?

James Cooper, Sky Sports News: "Traditionally Manchester United have cooked up some of football's finest ingredients for transfer windows, but this summer, after crawling over the Premier League finishing line, they'll face scrutiny over their activity rather than mere curiosity.

"In truth, anything could happen. United have a club legend in charge of one of their most important windows in recent memory with no sign of a "transfer guru" technical director being employed to assist Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

"The emphasis will be on securing home-grown young players of potential but after bidding farewell to the likes of Antonio Valencia and Ander Herrera, there are also major question marks hanging over the futures of Juan Mata, Matteo Darmian, Eric Bailly, and Marcos Rojo.

1:39 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he wants Juan Mata to stay at Manchester United and is hopeful the club can agree a deal for him to extend his stay at Old Trafford. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he wants Juan Mata to stay at Manchester United and is hopeful the club can agree a deal for him to extend his stay at Old Trafford.

"The big guns may not be safe either with the reputations of some of the club's most well-rewarded figures, Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku, David De Gea and Alexis Sanchez severely dented by an end of season run amounting to two wins from their final 12 games.

"Commercial strength means the resources are there for a rebuild, but how much of a churn of talent is sustainable? Back in 2014, United failed to qualify for either of the European competitions and spent more than a £150m to bring in five players. This summer, the challenge facing those at Old Trafford is even greater."

What Man Utd need could not be clearer

Manchester United's defeat to Cardiff laid bare their serious shortcomings - but also exactly how they must go about rebuilding this summer.

The pundit verdict

Alan Smith: "Can they get some players off the book? Can they sell Pogba for big money to give themselves more cash in the transfer market? Can they sell Sanchez? That could be difficult due to his wages, which is a problem.

And finally, is Solskjaer the right person to attract big players? I think the manager does play a big part in the recruitment. United are still a very attractive club to join and they pay huge salaries, but they are not in the Champions League so that does make it more difficult.

1:42 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists Manchester United is still a lure for top players and says he will have the final say on transfers in the summer. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists Manchester United is still a lure for top players and says he will have the final say on transfers in the summer.

"It's going to be very hard for them because there are a lot of players at the club that aren't good enough. They need to turn over the squad which is so difficult. Then you have the whole sporting director or director of football issue.

At Liverpool they have got it brilliantly right, Manchester City have done it well too, they both know what they are doing in that regard. At United there are big question marks over who is making the decisions, so they need to sort that out before they think about what they need in terms of players.

"The defence needs work. They conceded far too many goals this season. As a manager you want to know what your best defence is and I don't think anybody has really played well enough to nail down a place, although Victor Lindelof has showed some good form. You have people like Chris Smalling and Phil Jones who have been there forever; are they the kind of players who will win you the league?

Will Chris Smalling still be at Old Trafford next season?

"There is a big rebuilding job to do defensively. All the best defenders will be highly sought after and United won't be head of the queue because they aren't in the Champions League.

"Gareth Bale would be an attractive signing. If he did join then you'd think Anthony Martial would have to leave, and might Lukaku leave too? Bale would cost a lot of money and would excite the fans. He can't get in the Real Madrid team but he would certainly improve United's attack.

"United have been linked with Declan Rice and they should be in the market for a defensive midfielder. Nemanja Matic has seen his best days.

"United will have to be quite shrewd this summer."

3:39 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's future as Manchester United manager has been questioned by the Sunday Supplement panel. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's future as Manchester United manager has been questioned by the Sunday Supplement panel. What do the stats say?

Solskjaer became the first Manchester United manager in history to win their first six league games in charge of the club, but since then his side's for deteriorated massively, culminating in a sixth-placed finish in the Premier League.

United's poor league finish has led to speculation that there will be a major overhaul at Old Trafford, starting at the back. United conceded 54 goals this season, their most ever in a single Premier League campaign and most in a league season since 1978-79 (63).

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer consoles Ashley Young following the 1-1 draw with Chelsea

They also kept just two home clean sheets in the Premier League this season - their fewest in a season since 1962-63; numbers that show United's defence is need of a re-build.

There's been plenty of speculation around Paul Pogba's future following some poor performances from the Frenchman. However, Pogba's stats this season make for impressive reading with the World Cup winner reaching double figures for league goals in a season for the first time in his top-flight career.

He also registered more goal involvements (22) than he has in any previous campaign in the top five European leagues so if he moves on this summer United will have a big hole to fill.

Paul Pogba reacts following Manchester United's 1-1 draw with Huddersfield Town at John Smith's Stadium The manager's view

Solskjaer on United's transfer plans: "You have to have a certain kind of attitude about you to make you a Manchester United player. You have got to have the qualities and our fans want to see exciting players.

0:33 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has defended Manchester United’s transfer policy and is confident that the club will find the right players this summer. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has defended Manchester United’s transfer policy and is confident that the club will find the right players this summer.

"Of course we want to get up from our seats. We want to see defenders who defend like they're doing it for their lives, that's the most important thing.

"We've tried to educate our players and our kids to be proper people. In my view, the best players have always been the best people.

"It's always been in our culture. You have to have that work ethic and we're scouting the market, trying to find the right ones."

Transfer Centre

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Solskjaer on Pogba (April 16, 2019): "You can't guarantee anything in football but yes I think Paul is going to be here," said Solskjaer. "I can assure you he is now very determined to succeed at Man United. I would say yes I can guarantee, but in life you can never. He will be as far as I can answer."

Ander Herrera has confirmed he will leave Manchester United at the end of the season after bidding goodbye to the club in a video on social media.United captain Antonio Valencia also bid farewell to the club following the defeat against Cardiff on the final day of the season.

Who have they been linked with?

Who haven't they been linked with?

In a move which backs up Solskjaer's comments regarding the club's transfer policy, Sky Sports News understands Manchester United are close to agreeing a £15m deal to sign Swansea City winger Daniel James.

Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho was another reported target but according to the Daily Mail, United's failure to qualify for the Champions League has put a big dent in their hopes of landing the England international.

Jadon Sancho made his England debut this season

Another target in attach is Lille winger Nicolas Pepe and according to The Sun, United will battle it out with Real Madrid to sign the Ivory Coast international.

At the back, reports suggest Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly is Solskjaer's number one target, while Ajax youngster Matthijs de Ligt has also been linked with a move to Old Trafford.

Kalidou Koulibaly is reportedly Manchester United's number one defensive target

The Sun also reported that Crystal Palace defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka and West Ham midfielder Declan Rice were targets for Solskjaer.

Finally, Leicester are pushing for a quick deal to sign Youri Tielemans from Monaco, amid fears Manchester United and Tottenham may move for the midfielder, Sky Sports News understands.

Rank these players Manchester United have been linked with

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