There is no doubt that if Manchester United are to challenge Chelsea for their Premier League title for the upcoming season, the club will need to invest rather heavily in their playing squad.
If the rumours are true that David de Gea is on his way to Real Madrid, Manchester United will more than likely bring in a replacement goalkeeper, with Tottenham's Hugo Lloris or Ajax's Jasper Cillessen supposedly top of the clubs' wish list.
United fans will be desperate to keep hold of their two-time Player of the Year, however, with Real Madrid closing in, it looks as though the transfer is inevitable.
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Both Lloris and Cilessen would be acceptable replacements for De Gea, however, there is no doubt that, if possible, the club would love to keep him. Victor Valdes should also not be underestimated, he has been an exceptional goalkeeper over the years and there is no doubt he is capable of stepping in to De Gea's shoes if required.
Another position that Manchester United would ideally like to strengthen is at right-back. With Rafael's injury problems and Antonio Valencia not being completely comfortable in the position, it would be wise for the club to sign a recognised and experienced right-back, and with Nathaniel Clyne now looking likely to sign for Liverpool, Manchester United will have to look elsewhere.
Seamus Coleman of Everton and Juanfran from Atletico Madrid have both been linked with the club as of late, it is yet to be seen whether Louis van Gaal will move for a right-sided full-back or keep the faith in Antonio Valencia and Rafael.
There is a common belief amongst many that Manchester United are missing a leader at in the centre of defence. Since both Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand left the club, Manchester United have not found a regular central defensive partnership, with injuries plaguing Jonny Evans and Phil Jones.
Sergio Ramos is one player who has recently been linked with a move away from Real Madrid and despite his poor disciplinary record, if the Spaniard becomes available, Manchester United should not hesitate in bringing him to Old Trafford.
His record speaks for itself, he has won various trophies for Real Madrid and Spain respectively and would surely only strengthen Manchester United's defence. Another possible signing is Valencia's Nicholas Otamendi. He is an experienced defender who is seen as a leader at his current club and could shore up Manchester United's defence.
During the 2014/15 season, Manchester United struggled more in the games where Michael Carrick was missing from the centre of midfield. Carrick is the sort of player that can sit in front of the back four and protect them. He keeps control of the ball and has a calming influence on the rest of the team when he is playing.
Manchester United need someone who can step in, or play alongside Carrick when he is fit, with Southampton's Morgan Schneiderlin, William Carvalho of Sporting Lisbon or Bastian Schweinsteiger, if Bayern Munich would willingly let him leave, at the top of Van Gaal's list.
One of the main issues that Manchester United were faced with last season was scoring goals. With both Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao struggling in front of goal and with Wayne Rooney often being moved in to midfield due to absentees elsewhere in the squad, they may need extra firepower in front of goal for next season.
Memphis Depay, who can play as a striker, has already signed, however a proven goal scorer is required. If the rumours are true and Zlatan Ibrahimovic may become available, he would be a perfect fit for Manchester United. He is Cantona-esque, with a big personality and confidence that may rub off on the rest of the squad, allowing the club to build a strong title charge for the upcoming season.
Another option for Manchester United could be Alexandre Lacazette from Lyon. The French forward would likely cost United around £30million, however his goalscoring record for in Ligue 1 last season was almost single-handedly the reason for Lyon qualifying for the Champions League.
Lacazette scored 31 goals in just 40 games for the club and would certainly increase Manchester United's firepower up front were he to sign this summer. The 24-year-old is very quick and many believe he would be the ideal replacement for Van Persie were he to leave the club.
Now get it done!
There is no doubt Manchester United will, and should, improve their playing squad for the upcoming season. They currently do not have what it takes to overhaul Chelsea and with the rest of the top six clubs in the Premier League all strengthening, they cannot afford to fall further behind.
Being back in the Champions League is something that was crucial for Van Gaal and Manchester United, now they are back in Europe, they will certainly have extra backing in order to bring in the players they feel can push the club on to claiming their 21st league title.
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