Manchester United’s Europa League final defeat to Villarreal could spark the Glazers into life. The Americans were already feeling the heat prior to the game, with many fans protesting against their ownership. So Express Sport will now take a look at four signings they may fund in the aftermath of the defeat to convince fans they’re keen to win the Premier League title – and not just make money.
United have long admired Jadon Sancho.
Jose Mourinho first tried to sign the forward back in the summer transfer window of 2017, shortly after the club’s last Europa League triumph.
But that didn’t happen and, in the time since, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has missed out in 2019 and 2020 respectively.
United are primed to try again this summer.
And with Sancho open to a move to Old Trafford, it’s likely he’ll become the Glazers’ marquee signing of the summer transfer window.
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While United would like to sign Harry Kane, they’ll have trouble convincing the Tottenham star to join after the defeat to Villarreal.
After all, he wants trophies. And the Red Devils have none to their name under Solskjaer so far.
Therefore, it’s feasible United will swoop to re-sign Cristiano Ronaldo instead – with the Juventus star appearing to be gearing himself up to a potential departure.
It’s recently emerged the Glazers have held talks with Ronaldo’s agent, Jorge Mendes, about a potential return.
And he’d definitely offer United more ruthlessness up top. Plus, Marcus Rashford didn’t exactly convince on the left wing last night…
United went with a midfield axis of Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay last night.
But that move backfired, with the Red Devils failing to show enough grit and determination in the middle of the park.
Question marks continue to linger over Pogba’s long-term future, with the player’s contract expiring next year.
And with that the case, United could decide to bring Decan Rice to the club.
The West Ham star has been in fine form this season and helped the Hammers qualify for the Europa League, against all odds.
With Champions League football to offer, however, United may decide to go after his signature now the campaign is officially done and dusted.
United clearly need a new centre-back.
Though Harry Maguire has been a big hit at the club, the England international needs somebody better than Victor Lindelof or Eric Bailly alongside him.
Both defenders looked unconvincing against Villarreal, especially with Maguire sidelined.
And the name United want to sign most is Raphael Varane, whose time at Real Madrid appears to be winding down.
Should that happen, the Red Devils will hope to concede less goals next term – especially in the biggest matches of all.
Solskjaer reacts to chastening night
Solskjaer has reacted to a drab night at the office for United, admitting players within the dressing room were disappointed in the aftermath of the contest.
“It’s quiet, a disappointed dressing room. That’s football for you,” he said.
“Sometimes it’s decided on one kick – and that’s the difference between winning and losing.
“We have to learn from that one, not savour this feeling but taste this feeling and make sure we don’t get it again.
“We didn’t turn up. We didn’t play as well as we know we can. We started alright and they got the goal, their only shot on target. We were disappointed to concede a goal on a set play.
“We pushed, we pressed, we got a goal. After we scored we didn’t control the game or dominate as we wanted.
“They made it hard for us, they closed spaces. We had the majority of possession. They defended well. We didn’t create enough big chances.
“Now is not the time to point the finger at what I’d have done differently. But when you come out without the trophy you haven’t done everything right.
“We’re getting closer and closer and better. We were one kick away from a trophy and a good night.
“We have to have the desire to come back next year and improve. The only way to get the margins your side is to work harder and better.”