Gary Neville names dream Manchester United transfer and identifies three areas to strengthen
The Red Devils have enjoyed a strong campaign and sit in second place in the Premier League table, nine points ahead of fifth place, while they have a healthy 2-0 lead in the quarter-finals of the Europa League against Granada.
Despite Champions League football looking a virtual certainty for next season, United still have some way to go to catch league leaders Manchester City who are 14 points clear at the top of the table.
Neville feels the side need to make significant investments in the summer window to close the gap and become genuine contenders, with a new centre-back partner for Harry Maguire still his top priority.
In a Q&A on Twitter on Friday, the former right-back was asked to name his three priority signings for United this summer and replied: ‘Centre-back, striker, right winger.’
But it will not be Maguire who gets upgraded, with Neville dubbing the defender United’s ‘most important’ player – a comment he also made last week about the 28-year-old’s importance to the England national team.
Instead, Neville clearly feels Victor Lindelof needs to make way and, when asked to name the one player he would like to see United sign this summer, he replied: ‘Varane’.
The Real Madrid centre-back ticks many of the boxes Neville has previously outlined as being needed in a partner for Maguire, namely pace and an ability to play a much higher line while defending the space in behind.
The World Cup winner might not be a pipe dream either, with Varane’s contract with Real expiring in 2022.
That could force the Spanish giants to cash in on the 27-year-old defender this summer rather than risk losing him for nothing in a year’s time, while Varane is thought to be keen to test himself away from the Bernabeu having enjoyed a very successful career at the club.
With Edinson Cavani expected to leave Old Trafford, a new number nine also makes sense as a priority position in need of strengthening, while United have been looking for a right winger for some time and pursued Jadon Sancho for most of last summer – though perhaps Amad Diallo can fill that void.
Neville also criticised United’s ‘slow’ build-up play and feels the team need to get the ball into the forwards far quicker, as they did for Marcus Rashford’s first goal against Granada on Thursday night.
‘Sometimes they pass it too slowly across the pitch and don’t play forward,’ Neville explained.
‘Last night was a perfect case and then as soon as Lindelof plays a forward pass / Rashford run we score. Play higher tempo and into strikers in the first part of games.’
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