Paul Scholes has picked three players Manchester United should be looking at this summer if they are to close the gap on Manchester City in the Premier League.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men finished in a creditable second spot, five points ahead of Liverpool, but 12 points behind neighbours City. Solskjaer has made it clear that a runners-up spot has not been championed at Old Trafford. The Norwegian wants to go one place higher and if they can realise another eight-point year-on-year improvement they will go close next season.
Firstly though Solskajer is focused on Wednesday’s Europa League final date with Villarreal.
“It can give belief, of course, but it can also give hunger for more – when you win things you just want to win more, you want to feel that sensation again of lifting trophies,” said Solskjaer.
“I know my players will believe they can win it and that we can move on to better things. But when you get that taste of the first one, that’s a big step in the right direction.”
Regardless of the result in Gdansk, United will be active in the summer transfer market. Solskjaer confirmed plans were afoot ahead of the summer window opening.
“We are looking at the squad, the players who are going to stay, those who might be leaving and I hope that we’re going to strengthen with a few…two or three players that we definitely need to challenge higher up in the table.
“We’re still too far behind to think it is just going to come by itself,” said the United boss.
And Scholes is in agreement and believes Jadon Sancho, Jack Grealish and Marquinhos are the type of players Solskjaer should be looking at.
Scholes, 46, told the Webby & O’Neill show: “I think we need someone who is a creative midfield player. Grealish or Sancho, one of them would be ideal.
“It would be great to have a left-footed centre-back but I don’t think it’s needed, I don’t think we are desperate for that.
“I would like to see a centre-half come in next to Maguire. I think [Victor] Lindelof is doing alright, I just think alright isn’t good enough to win a league.
“Marquinhos from PSG, I think he’d be a brilliant centre-half next to Maguire but again you’re talking about a lot of money.”
Sancho is a player United know well, having spent all summer trying to land the Borussia Dortmund man. He is understood to still be a target for United and German source Sport1 (via Daily Mail), suggest BVB will now accept offers of between £74m and £78m.
Aston Villa star Jack Grealish was also on United’s wanted list last summer, but not firm bid arrived and the England man signed a new contract. Still, he could be available if suitors match Villa’s asking price for the 25-year-old, as he starts to enter his peak years.
Marquinhos is the somewhat leftfield suggestion. The 27-year-old Brazilian has three years left on his deal at PSG and would command a huge fee. He has been mentioned as a target for Thomas Tuchel at Chelsea.