Sir Alex Ferguson is facing what is possibly his toughest challenge next season when he attempts to win back the Premier League title from rivals Manchester City.
The Old Trafford club were agonisingly close to retaining their title on the final day of last season, but Sergio Aguero’s last-gasp winner meant Roberto Mancini’s side were crowned champions for the first time in 44 years.
With the Abu Dhabi millions behind them, City are sure to make some more big-money additions to their squad and Ferguson will need to bring in some new faces as well, if United have any hope of finishing top.
Who they will sign is another matter, as they have been linked with a number of names so far this summer, but GMF have picked out the five most promising targets…
Lucas Moura, Sao Paulo
The exciting young winger from Brazil has reportedly been the subject of a bid in the region £28million from United, which was subsequently rejected by his club.
Lucas is in London with Brazil’s Olympic football squad and is expected to feature in their pre-tournament friendly with Great Britain.
Reports have suggested Sao Paulo will only consider a bid over £30million for the 19-year-old who has been tipped as a big star for the future.
Robin van Persie, Arsenal
The Gunners' annual transfer saga concerns their captain this summer and reported have claimed Ferguson is one of those chasing his signature.
Arsenal will be desperate to hold onto the Premier League’s top scorer from last season but he has already confirmed he will not be extending his deal, which has just a year left to run.
The north London club are reportedly holding out for a bid in the region of £25million if they resolve to let the Dutchman leave this summer.
Leighton Baines, Everton
The England international has reportedly been high on United’s shopping list after another impressive season under David Moyes.
Ferguson recently admitted he needed to find a new left-back after Fabio da Silva left on loan for QPR, leaving United without cover for Patrice Evra.
At 31, Evra is coming into the latter stages of his career and the Red Devils manager is concerned about the workload he currently has.
Christian Eriksen, Ajax
The technically gifted playmaker has been linked with a move to United for some time, but the signing of Japanese midfielder Shinji Kagawa was expected to make the deal less likely.
However, reports in Holland have claimed Ajax are in talks with two or three clubs over the Denmark international and you would expect United to be involved in any discussions.
Paul Scholes advancing years and doubts over the fitness of Anderson could mean the Scot is ready to purchase some extra cover in the centre of midfield.
Axel Witsel, Benfica
Witsel was impressive for Belgium in the pre-Euro 2012 friendly against England at Wembley and has been proving himself to be a quality all-rounder in the Portuguese side.
Ferguson has always had a penchant for players who can play in several positions, but the 23-year-old would be a step up in quality from the likes of John O’Shea.
Most comfortable in the centre of midfield, the former Standard Liege man’s combative style, combined with the technical ability that is now typical of young players coming out of Belgium.
Witsel only joined Benfica last summer, so a move to Old Trafford is unlikely to come cheap.
Do you think Manchester United would be improved by anh of these signings? Who do you think they should sign?
Leave a comment below to let us know…
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