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5 players Manchester United should sign next season

Written by: Uttiyo Sarkar

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With the Red Devils set for another summer of heavy spending, Khel Now looks at five players they should sign to bolster the squad...

Times have changed for the worse at Manchester United over the past years, as the original kings of English football are struggling to keep up with their rivals at the top. Despite having signed Jose Mourinho last summer, United haven't really shown any signs of improvement and their big money signings have mostly flopped throughout the season as well.  With a real lack of potency in attack and no signs of the deadly attacking threat of old being seen in this squad, it definitely needs to be revamped and installed with players who can make a real difference in the team next season.

While The Red Devils are being linked with just about every prominent player in the market right now, there are some specific targets Mourinho would like to get in his sights once the summer transfer window kicks in. United have shown recently just how financially powerful they are when they broke the transfer record to bring back flamboyant midfielder Paul Pogba to the club and are apparently not done yet. The Red Devils are expected to be on the hunt for some top talents to boost their chances of regaining the English Premier League title next season and if the 'Special One' can get his hands on some of these players, things could definitely change for the better at United next season.

The Red Devils are still lacking in multiple areas of the pitch, as only their defensive structure looks really good at the moment because of their in-form defenders and world class goalkeeper in David De Gea, who himself could be Real Madrid-bound next season. Chances have been abundant for United this time out, but only Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been prolific enough to convert them into goals and the Old Trafford club need some decisive attacking talent to compete with the best next season.

Of course, qualification for the UEFA Champions League (which at this point only looks possible by winning the Europa League) is absolutely necessary to attract these players and if the TEAM is hoping to challenge on all fronts next season, they will have to make multiple signings. With The Red Devils in dire need of some world class talent in their midst, let's take a look whom TO ACQUIRE IN THE SUMMER.

5. Samir Handanovic

So it's an open secret that Real Madrid will be looking for a goalkeeper in the summer and they could well re-invigorate their interest in de Gea. Both De Gea and Mourinho have been tight-lipped about this topic for some time now and the general consensus indicates that the transfer will take place after this season as the Spanish goalkeeper has wanted the move for some time now. It will be nearly impossible for someone to replace de Gea at United and while Sergio Romero is definitely not a contender, Inter Milan goalkeeper Samir Handanovic seems the perfect man to take the helm between the posts for The Red Devils.  

The towering 6'4' Slovenian has been impeccable for the struggling Italian outfit for the past few years, as he has kept an average of 12 clean sheets in the past few seasons and won many points for Inter single-handedly. He might not really be supported by his weak defence, but his superb ball-collection skills and impressive 2.68 saves per game ratio makes him a perfect candidate for the goalkeeping job at United.

 

Samir Handanovic can be a key addition to the United side if De Gea moves to Madrid

Although he has been approached by the Red Devils in the past and is hesitant to move away from Italy. However, the lack of ambition at Inter right now can tempt him to move to the Theatre of Dreams if the price is right. Atletico's Jan Oblak is another viable option for United, but knowing Handanovic's experience and being part of a club Mourinho knows very well, he's the perfect man to fill in de Gea's shoes next season.

4. Raphael Varane

Manchester  United's defensive structure might have been revamped for the better by Mourinho, but there are still some cracks in the shape which will need to improve if they are to challenge for trophies next season. United have some really good defenders in the likes of Chris Smalling, Eric Bailly, Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones, but they need someone who can take charge in defence and inspire the others to put in a better effort in each and every game. Real Madrid's Raphael Varane can be the man for the job in this case, as the young Frenchman has shown a lot of leadership ability and really dominated other teams with his dominating defending. 

Varane has not only helped Los Blancos keep a lot of clean-sheets in the past few seasons but has put in dominating performances week in, week out. He's also very good when it comes to passing the ball and striding into midfield to create opportunities for the team which can be absolutely perfect for Mourinho's team, and also has the lack of scoring goals in crucial moments which can always be a bonus for the Red Devils. Varane is the leader of the defence line which Jose Mourinho needs right now, as this signing could help him shape his defence into one of the most solid ones in the world like he did at Inter Milan or Real Madrid.

Raphael Varane is one of the best young centre-backs in the world and has been courted by Mourinho a number of times

It can be rather difficult to convince Madrid to sell off the Frenchman, but United could use De Gea to force him to sell him to them for the Spanish goalkeeper as Varane would probably be delighted to reunite with the coach who gave him this platform to perform in, and knowing their close relationship, the special one can help him become the best defender in the world which is a definite win-win for Manchester United.

3. Tiemoue Bakayoko

Tiemoue Bakayoko has suddenly burst onto the football scene after having a fantastic season so far for AS Monaco, as the Frenchman has been one of the best defensive midfielders in the world this season. Bakayoko has been impressing in Ligue 1 for AS Monaco for the past few seasons now, as he became a sensation a few months back when his amazing performances led Monaco to knock out Pep Guardiola's Manchester City in the last round of the Champions League. 

He is hot stuff in the market right now and with Manchester United lacking a proper defensive midfielder at the moment, they shouldn't look further than the towering Frenchman who can definitely be signed for the right price. Bakayoko is definitely on the wanted list for many clubs right now, including United's noisy neighbors in Manchester City as the Frenchman's stats have been rather remarkable this season.

Bakayoko is being scouted by all top clubs in Europe and Chelsea, reportedly, has already made a move

Despite being the man whom everyone passes to at Monaco's games, Bakayoko has still maintained an amazing 87% passing accuracy this season and is absolutely superb in his defensive department of tackling and taking the ball of the opponent. Along with all that, he also has the eye for the killer pass and is a legitimate threat in set-pieces which is always a bonus for a player of his position.

2. Harry Kane

Manchester United haven't really been the most horrible of form this season, but it's been a case of them just not being able to capitalize on the opportunities which they create.  Some of the attacking stats of The Red Devils are pretty terrible this season, as they have only scored 46 goals this season in the English Premier League despite having 389 chances created for clear goal-scoring opportunities. This is miserable for a team vying for the top spots in the league and they need to sign more decisive attacking talent to improve this miserable statistic. 

They don't even have to look far, as Tottenham Hotspur star Harry Kane is someone who can easily fit into their system and become a United legend in the future as well. Kane has had a LOT of experience in English football already, as he can become the next Wayne Rooney for The Red Devils because of his impeccable goal-scoring form and ability to click at the right moment. Kane has been absolutely amazing on the goal-scoring department for the past two seasons, as he scored an incredible 25 goals in the Premier League last season and has scored 19 already this season as well.

After Wayne Rooney, Harry Kane could be the next leading goal-scorer for the Three Lions and United will be happy to continue the tradition of having England's highest scorers

His impact can be felt for Spurs, who have themselves been developed into one of England's best clubs by Mauricio Pocchetino.  His ability to be a perfect poacher in the box as well as come deep to help his midfield create more opportunities makes him quite the invaluable player, as United's finishing sorrows could all fade away if they manage to get Kane.

But Spurs will definitely not want to sell to their direct title rivals, as the shrewd Daniel Levy who has been a nightmare in negotiations for United before and will not budge on his best player this time either. The Red Devils will have to break the transfer record and more if they wish to get Kane, but it'll all be worth it when he gets them 20+ goals every season and marches them onto the league title next season.

1. Antoine Griezmann

Antoine Griezmann has been football's most romantic player for the past few years right now, and Manchester United definitely need some romance in their team right now. United have looked shockingly under pressure and disinterested at points this season, as they need a player who can score as well as inspire the other players to up their game and win matches for the team.

The Atletico Madrid attacking midfielder has been on song for the past couple of seasons now as he was tracked by United when he was still rising in the football club, but nobody at the club would've presumed just how good he would become in the next years. Griezmann rose to stardom at Atletico Madrid and hasn't looked back since, as he got the attention of the whole footballing world by having an incredible season with Atletico Madrid last time out. 

Griezmann is heavily linked to United and can become one of the most paid players in the world

Griezmann scored 27 goals in all competitions for Atletico last season and had a sensational Euro 2016 with France where he scored 6 goals and won the Golden Boot in the end as well. He's not only a prolific goalscorer but is also a superb playmaker from the central position as well, as he creates heaps of chances for Atletico and finishes off moves started by him as well.

Griezmann has shown that drive to win and enjoy football which United seem to have forgotten in the past few seasons, as the sensational Frenchman definitely has to be at no #1 of United's want list in the summer transfer window. The Red Devils are apparently very interested in signing Griezmann in the summer, as they need to splash whatever Atletico wants off them and get in Griezmann, as he could be their next number #7 and bring back the magic produced by that shirt in the past.

Published: Sun Apr 16, 2017 01:08 PM IST

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