Nicky Butt believes that Manchester United do not need to sign another star midfielder, instead insisting that defence is a bigger transfer priority.
The Red Devils have headed into the summer transfer window at an important crossroads in their development. After finishing second in the Premier League and reaching the Europa League final, progress is in sight. However, the club need further key signings to push them over the line and to silverware.
Up front, United’s plans are progressing well. Despite having an initial bid for England winger Jadon Sancho knocked back, football director John Murtough has sent an improved bid.
In midfield, Paul Pogba enjoyed arguably his best season in a United shirt last term.
The Frenchman’s future remains uncertain as he enters the final year of his contract, with United reportedly finding his replacement. Assuming he pens fresh terms, though, Butt feels manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has good midfield options.
“I think Man United are solid enough in midfield,” he said (via the Daily Mirror).
“I keep hearing things about Declan Rice, but is he a better player than Scott McTominay?
“I’m not sure; I think with McTominay, Paul Pogba and obviously Bruno Fernandes, we’re in a good place in the middle of the park.”
But added: “For me, next season has to be about getting some silverware back in that trophy cabinet for Manchester United.
“It’s about getting the right players who will allow you to challenge for trophies.
“It’s a winning club, so we can’t go this long without silverware.”
As for where United transfer chiefs should be putting their focus, Butt wants a new centre-back at Old Trafford.
Pundit wants Man Utd centre-back transfer
Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane is one name currently being heavily linked with a transfer to Man Utd.
Butt, who was speaking to Ladbrokes, said: “The biggest thing that needs addressing for me at Manchester United this summer is that centre-back position; we need a partner for Harry Maguire. It has to be someone that’s going to be compatible with Maguire.
“If you spend the kind of money you did on Harry Maguire, you then have to follow it up by bringing someone in who can play with him.
“He’s the club captain; Victor Lindelof is too similar to him. It needs to be someone with pure, blistering pace, someone who can play out from the back.
“Everyone talks about Raphael Varane. I understand he’s a little bit older than most people would perhaps like, but you just have to go back to the days of Teddy Sheringham.
“I think we bought him when he was 32, and we went and won the treble with him. If Varane is available, then I’d go all out for him.”
Like his fellow France international Pogba, Varane has only one year left on his Madrid contract.