Manchester United ended their campaign as runners-up to neighbours Manchester City. United also went this season trophyless as they failed to beat Chelsea in the FA Cup final last weekend.
Jose Mourinho knows the gulf between United and City after seeing his team finish 19 points adrift of the champions. It would take a very good transfer window for United to plug the holes in their squad and challenge for the title next term.
It is just the early days of the transfer window and the Red Devils have already been linked with a number of high-profile stars. Mourinho has already claimed he won’t sign any attacking players but failure in the FA Cup due to the absence of Romelu Lukaku might change his mind.
Here are the players United have been linked so far and let’s analyse each of them.
Fred (Shakhtar Donetsk)
Following an impressive season in Ukraine, Fred has been included in the Brazil squad by coach Tite for the World Cup next month.
At Shakhtar, Fred has become a hot commodity. A defensive midfielder who can also act as a playmaker, Fred is a technically gifted player. The Brazilian keeps both the midfield and the attack together.
Going by his displays this season, Fred could be the potential Michael Carrick replacement at Old Trafford.
Another midfielder who has caught Jose Mourinho’s eyes is Napoli’s Jorginho.
Mourinho is on the hunt for a new midfielder after Michael Carrick hung up his boots at the conclusion of the campaign and Marouane Fellaini is yet to extend his contract at United.
Napoli’s Jorginho perfectly fits the bill at United. He is a defensive midfielder in a traditional sense but with a touch of creativity as well. His passing is excellent, looks to work the ball in tight spaces and uses his technical ability to start attacks.
A gifted midfielder, Jorginho would be a fantastic addition to United’s ranks.
Djibril Sidibe (AS Monaco)
It is clear that Mourinho needs to upgrade his full-backs in order to challenge City for the title next term. City spent heavily on full-backs, who turned on in style and helped them win the title.
Mourinho needs to take a leaf out of Guardiola’s book and target a right-back. Antonio Valencia has done admirably well but is time for United to move on from him and sign a new right-back.
AS Monaco’s Djibril Sidibe has been on United’s radar for some time now. Aggressive and pacey, Sidibe would be an upgrade on Valencia. The Frenchman is also defensively solid, which makes him an ideal fit to ply his trade at United from next campaign.
Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (Lazio)
Manchester United have received a massive boost in their pursuit of Sergej Milinkovic-Savic after Lazio missed out on a place in the Champions League.
Milinkovic-Savic has dazzled this season at Lazio, supplying plenty of assists and scoring goals. He is capable of playing in a double-pivot or in an advanced role which would serve well for Mourinho.
The Serbian is an all-action midfielder, thanks to his strength and drive through the middle of the park.
Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham)
One of the best centre-backs in the Premier League in recent years, Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld is high on the list of Mourinho’s summer targets.
United have yet to find an ideal partner for Eric Bailly in defence. Victor Lindelof arrived amidst a lot of fanfare but has not quite coped with the intensity of the Premier League. Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo have not inspired much confidence either.
United clearly need a commanding centre-back and Alderweireld is the one who could solidify the defence. Strong in the air and composed on the ball, the Belgian would be a signing of intent by Manchester United.
Anderson Talisca (Benfica)
According to reports, Manchester United have submitted a £35m bid for Benfica attacker Anderson Talisca.
Talisca netted 18 goals for Besiktas in the Turkish Super League, which has interested Mourinho, who is a long-term admirer of the Brazilian. Capable of playing behind the striker or on the wings, Talisca could be the man capable of solving United’s right-wing problem.