Rio Ferdinand has strongly urged Manchester United to bring in the two signings he feels they need in order to try and wrestle the Premier League title from Manchester City next season.
City were confirmed as champions once again after Manchester United were beaten 2-1 at home by Leicester. The victory for the Foxes, which cemented their top-four hopes, means City are 10 points clear with just three games remaining and cannot be caught.
Speaking after the game, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer congratulated City on their incredible campaign. But he also stressed that a strong summer window is needed for United to compete.
“If you want to take up the challenge with them we need to strengthen our squad,” he told BT Sport.
“Congratulations to them. They have had a fantastic season. I am very pleased with my boys that have made it to the last 10 days with a Manchester City side ahead of us. They are lauded as the best in Europe.
“We want to take the next step. It might be that we need a couple more to strengthen the squad.”
That assessment was one that Ferdinand agreed with. He wants United to focus their summer efforts on signing a top-level central defensive partner for Harry Maguire.
And he feels that until they land someone as fearsome as Ruben Dias, teams just won’t fear playing them.
“I think Manchester United’s prime position for them to strengthen, to really improve and become a team who can compete is centre-back,” Ferdinand told BT Sport. “To get a partner for Harry Maguire who you go, actually every week he produces, he’s there.
“At the moment there’s too many players, centre-forwards especially, who probably are looking when they get in the tunnel and are thinking, ‘I’ve got a chance here. I think I can smell a chance’.
“Whereas the teams who do really well, [Ruben] Dias and [John] Stones at the back at the moment in the past four or five months, teams are looking at them and thinking it’s going to be very difficult for me today.
“I don’t think they get that feeling right now when they play against the centre-backs at Manchester United.”
United have been linked with Pau Torres, while Sergio Ramos may yet prove another option.
United ‘have to get’ Haaland
Ferdinand also wants United to do whatever it takes to sign Erling Haaland. The Norwegian could be on the market this summer for a huge fee. With an exit clause kicking-in in summer 2022, Ferdinand reckons he’s ripe for plucking this summer.
“You have to go and get him. You can’t allow him to go anywhere else,” Ferdinand said.
“If you’re United, you want to close the gap on the top teams in the Premier League and in Europe. To do that, then you’ve got to go and get the best available.
“That’s what Manchester United have been accustomed to doing. If they want to be thought of as a team who can compete at the top end, when those players become available you have to go and get them.”
Haaland could cost as much as £140m were Dortmund to sell this summer. It’s been reported United could make a triple sacrifice to land Haaland this summer.