Manchester United need to be competing for the Premier League title next season.
The Red Devils are approaching three years under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and they have arguably made their most consistent progress since Sir Alex Ferguson hung up his hairdryer in 2013.
Man Utd looking to improve
There can be no denying that it’s a feather in Solskjaer’s cap but given United’s proud history of competing for the biggest trophies, he needs to start translating the progress into title challenges.
And while that seems unlikely given their current resources up against the might of Manchester City, shrewd signings this summer could be enough to close the gap to their ‘Noisy Neighbours’.
The Old Trafford faithful all have differing opinions on where United need to strengthen ahead of next season, but a new centre-back and right-winger seem to be the prevailing priorities.
Man Utd fans wants Buendia and not Jadon Sancho (Football Terrace)
Man Utd looking for signings
Then again, despite Edinson Cavani extending his contract, there might also be an appetite to loosen the pursestrings for Harry Kane as he looks likelier and likelier to leave Tottenham Hotspur.
So, there are certainly options for United to play around with over the coming months, but fans of the club will be more aware than most that transfer windows don’t always go to plan.
And with that in mind, the Manchester Evening News have used their intel and the current rumour mill to imagine what United’s best and worst-case scenarios might be in the summer market.
How United’s summer could pan out
It’s a fascinating approach that could give United fans an idea about what a dream and nightmare result might look like and we’ve imagined their decisions into a potential 2020/21 starting XI.
As a result, you can check out United’s best-case scenario that could give City some serious issues and their worst-case scenario that could see them slide down the Premier League table below:
In: Raphael Varane, Jadon Sancho, Harry Kane and Paul Pogba (new deal)
Out: Phil Jones, Jesse Lingard, Andres Pereira and Brandon Williams (loan)
In: Ben White
Out: Andreas Pereira (loan) and Diogo Dalot (loan)
What will actually happen?
Talk about contrasting situations, right? Which scenario plays out could be the difference between United challenging for the Premier League title and slipping down to the Europa League again.
Pessimistic – or realistic, depending on how you look at things – United fans will probably suspect that the second outcome is far more likely, but surely the Glazers will make at least one marquee signing this summer?
With Sancho’s price having declined and Cavani sticking around for another season, you’d suspect that the big-money arrival is more likely to feature on the right than up front, but that’s not inherently a bad thing.
While it’s tough to imagine a world in which Varane, Kane and Sancho all came through the door at Old Trafford, we can’t escape the fact that signing two out of three would still be a serious coup.
For me, Varane and Kane should be the priorities if that’s the case and assuming they can get their hands on both, then City will need to look over their shoulders because trouble will be coming from very close range.