Ralf Rangnick expressed his belief that Manchester United will need as many as 10 new signings this summer. When he saw the team’s capitulation to Brighton, he probably wasn’t wrong.
But what if Manchester United can rebuild the team with just five new faces? If recruiting is good, United may be able to argue that ‘less is more’, putting quality over quantity.
A number of top quality players are already being linked, which would give Manchester United some exciting new options.
One of them is midfielder Frenkie de Jong, from whom Barcelona comes Gerard Romero claims ’95 per cent’ are likely to sign for Manchester United to back up with Erik ten Hag.
Fitting de Jong in
De Jong is a player who can be the focal point of Manchester United and it is important to get him on the ball as much as possible.
This is why the ever adaptable Ten Hag could initially place him in a four-man midfield, leveraging his talents and the creative quality of Bruno Fernandes.
De Jong could be helped by his former teammate Donny van de Beek, who knows the requirements of Ten Hag and the quality of his teammate in the Dutch midfield.
It’s a potentially winning combination, provided United also add a defensive shield to the squad, and it can be done with Marseille midfielder Boubacar Kamara, who is available on a free transfer this summer.
New faces in defense and attack
With a reformed midfield, United can still add a big new striker and line him up alongside Cristiano Ronaldo. Step up to Darwin Nunez, who has scored 34 goals this season and a better score per game than Erling Haaland.
Nunez and Ronaldo could be a fruitful combination, especially supported by a team that could finally get a handle on the midfield and play with some personality.
Improving the defense can come in two ways: Ajax defender Jurrien Timber replaces Harry Maguire and Nordi Mukiele takes over as right back.
BILD report Mukiele could be available from RB Leipzig for just £8.5million due to his expiring contract, and like Kamara this would offset some of the more expensive deals required.
Nunez and De Jong together would cost around £140 million, with Timber, Mukiele and Kamara an additional £40 million.
United could offset these costs by cashing in on unwanted players such as Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Anthony Martial and Alex Telles. Looking at the Manchester United XI with De Jong and Nunez below, the money would be well spent as Ten Hag looks to kick-start his first Red Devils transfer window and form a team for the future.