Manchester United are reported to have handed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a £250million transfer warchest to spend in 2020 – with that number set to swell to around £400m upon the expected sale of Paul Pogba.
The Norwegian celebrates a year in the hotseat on Thursday having been initially brought in as interim successor to Jose Mourinho, and having since earned a contract to summer 2022.
Despite a shaky start to the season, wins over first Tottenham and then, perhaps most significantly, away at Manchester City, United and Solskjaer could cut the gap on fourth-placed Chelsea to just two points with a win on Sunday against Everton.
That has led the United boss to confidently declare he ‘always knew he had what it took to succeed at United’, and while talk over his possible dismissal appears to have been to bed for now, Solskjaer is now planning ahead for the next two transfer windows with a massive swath of cash to help the club climb higher up the league.
Solskjaer will likely spend the majority of the cash in the summer window, but there’s growing talk there will be arrivals next month too, with Erling Haaland among those set to sign.
But Haaland may not be the only new arrival either with a growing belief that he could be joined at Old Trafford by England winger Jadon Sancho.
The teenager’s future has been under intense speculation as of late following a series of disciplinary issues at his club, Borussia Dortmund. And while the Bundesliga giants insist those issues have been resolved and the player won’t be allowed to leave in January, it’s thought an offer of around £90m could convince them to sell.
According to various report, United are also in the market for Napoli forward Dries Mertens, who could be allowed to leave amid a row over a contract renewal. The Italian giants, through to the last 16 of the Champions League, have recently appointed Gennaro Gattuso as their new manager and are said to be looking at signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic as a short-term replacement for the classy Belgian star.
In addition, the Sunday Mirror reckons United are in the hunt for two Argentine’s who could set them back a further £120million, while there is a growing belief that Atletico Madrid star Saul Niguez is the man they want to replace Pogba in their midfield. Those hopes were given a timely lift on Saturday amid claims his asking price had lowered.
Whoever United end up signing, Solskjaer has made it pretty clear he is planning ahead for new additions.
“We are looking to strengthen in many positions,” he said earlier this week.
“We are getting there but we still need two or three players to have enough numbers.”
One man who does appear on his way though is Pogba.
Out since September due to an ankle injury, the World Cup winner returned to Manchester a fortnight ago after a period of rehabilitation in Miami but it remains uncertain when he will next be selected to play for United.
Asked if it is an automatic decision to put Pogba back in the starting line-up given the way Scott McTominay and Fred have kicked on, the United boss said: “Let’s get Paul fit first and then back in form and Paul will play loads of games.
“You know, for me, he’s one of the best players in the world and we’re looking forward to having him back.”
However, with Real Madrid and former club Juventus continuing to lurk, there is a growing belief United will allow the player to move on if any club comes close to matching their £150m asking price.