Phil Jones, Ashley Young and Chris Smalling's deals have upset some Manchester United players

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Manchester United are in need of a major overhaul before they stand a chance of returning to the pinnacle of English and European football.

The Red Devils have spent more than £800 million on signings since Sir Alex Ferguson, equating to an average of roughly £135 million per transfer window.

Despite their aggressive investment strategy, United look further than ever from competing for major honours.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer faces a huge challenge in rebuilding the troubled squad he inherited - a task made all the more difficult with no Champions League football to act as a bargaining tool.

Perhaps in consequence, the Norwegian is eager to abandon the club’s transfer policy of recent years.

Instead of pursuing high-profile stars, Solskjaer is content to complement the best of what he already has with ambitious youngsters who are yet to prove themselves at the top level.

The Sun claims United are lining up moves for Swansea winger Daniel James, Newcastle midfielder Sean Longstaff, Stoke centre-back Nathan Collins and Norwich defender Ben Godfrey.

But even if all goes to plan for Solskjaer this summer, he has deeper issues to address concerning those currently on the books at Old Trafford.

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According to The Times, divisions in the United dressing room are being compounded by the club’s decision to offer English players undeservedly inflated wages compared to those offered to others approaching the end of their contracts.

The report reads: “Ashley Young, 33, Phil Jones, 27, and Chris Smalling, 29, have signed new deals at Old Trafford in the past six months.

“That is in marked contrast to the contractual stand-offs involving several team-mates. Ander Herrera, 29, was allowed to leave, while Juan Mata, 31, and the goalkeeper David De Gea, 28, have not agreed to sign the deals that they have been offered.”


Jones - who made only 24 appearances this season due to injury - saw his weekly wages jump upwards of twofold to £120,000 when he signed a new contract until 2023 in February.

Young and Smalling’s respective pay packets of £110,000-a-week and £80,000-a-week are the same as prior to the club activating extension options in their existing deals.

The criticism levelled at each of the aforementioned trio this season has been well-documented.

With that in mind, like the United squad, fans could be forgiven for wondering why the demands of consistent performers such as Herrera, Mata and De Gea weren’t given priority.

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