Manchester United set for spending spree as they target SIX major signings over the next two transfer windows with Mario Mandzukic, Moussa Dembele, Saul Niguez and James Maddison on radar
- Manchester United have endured their worst start to the season in 30 years
- There’s an acceptance the squad isn’t good enough and needs serious surgery
- United chiefs have targeted two strikers and two central midfielders
- Solskjaer’s outfit are also targeting a central defender and a left back
Manchester United want six readymade signings over the next two transfer windows to halt an unrelenting slide away from their rivals.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has presided over the club’s worst start to the season in 30 years and they sit just two points above the relegation zone.
There is an acceptance that the current squad is not strong enough and requires serious surgery. Sportsmail understands club chiefs have targeted two strikers, two central midfielders, a central defender and a left back in an ambitious revamp.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United side have suffered their worst start in 30 years
United have splurged almost £1billion since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013 and are committed to financing another raft of signings. Spending big again over the next year would represent an admission that the club’s recruitment strategy has not been adequate.
The £80m summer capture of Harry Maguire, and in turn gazumping Manchester City’s spending power, showed United have the continued muscle to throw money at reversing their fortunes. It points towards the sort of figures they would be prepared to pay for the right target.
Solskjaer has started phasing out the old guard and more established names, with Chris Smalling sent on loan to Roma, while Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku headed for Inter Milan.
Nemanja Matic and Juan Mata have remained at Old Trafford but stand on the periphery. More departures will follow in the coming windows.
While there is an acceptance that January proves a troubling month to do business, United are aware of the need to strengthen immediately.
Moussa Dembele (pictured) and Mario Mandzukic are January targets for the Red Devils
Leicester playmaker James Maddison is very highly thought of by United’s coaching staff
Goals have been in short supply and they have found the net only seven times in their last 10 games. There is a desire to add two new strikers to ease the burden on Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial.
One, they hope, will be through the door during the winter. Juventus veteran Mario Mandzukic and Moussa Dembele at Lyon are of interest.
United made checks on Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez last year but never formalised their interest. Leicester City’s James Maddison is one who the United coaching staff think highly of.
Solskjaer recognises his team requires additional creativity going forward and has recently admitted they do not fashion enough chances in matches, having initially blamed luck and wayward finishing.
Maguire and Victor Lindelof are the first choice pairing at the back for Solskjaer, who will come under increasing pressure if United suffer defeat against Liverpool on Sunday.
United believe they still need defensive reinforcements despite the arrival of Harry Maguire
United believe they still need reinforcements in that area, however. Phil Jones has yet to make a Premier League appearance this season, while Eric Bailly has not played a competitive game since April as he continues to struggle with injury.
Marcos Rojo has made three starts this term. The emergence of 21-year-old Axel Tuanzebe has offered some relief.
At left back, Shaw has been plagued by injuries – out for the last six weeks with a hamstring complaint – and Ashley Young is in the twilight of his career. Club sources are enthused about the development of teenager Brandon Williams in that area but remain on the lookout for other options.
Meanwhile, academy player performance manager Les Parry revealed earlier this week that ‘a decision will be made,’ whether Tahith Chong, James Garner and Angel Gomes leave on loan in January. All three have been given minutes by Solskjaer so far this season.
‘(Some) lads have got into the first team and a lot of it has been through circumstances they’ve got no control over,’ Parry said. ‘They’ve been presented with an opportunity and they’ve taken the opportunity so now a couple of them are regulars on the team sheet each week.’
First-choice United left back Luke Shaw (centre) has been plagued by injuries