By Mark Weasley
Fresh from winning the Europa League Final in Stockholm on Wednesday, Jose Mourinho has set his sights on next season, as he aims to narrow the gap between The Red Devils and the teams who finished ahead of us in the league.
United placed sixth on the log, some 24 points behind eventual champions Chelsea, are looking at a variety of players to bolster their ranks come the beginning of next season. We take a look at how the 20-time English champions could line up next season if Mourinho spends his supposed £400 million on key signings.
With the situation of David de Gea still clearly unknown, the Atletico Madrid shotstopper, Jan Oblak is being mooted as a potential replacement. Backup goalkeeper, Sergio Romero has done well in the last few weeks, most noticeably in the final few weeks of the campaign, but the feeling is he doesn’t do well as a number 1.
The likes of Chris Smalling and Luke Shaw are expected to depart the Theatre of Dreams, as the manager has grown frustrated with their attitude. Benfica defender, Victor Lindelof is on the radar and should get to partner Eric Bailly next season. Antonio Valencia and Daley Blind should be on the flanks to help with the attack.
Idrissa Gueye is top of the transfer targets at Old Trafford as his workaholic displays for Everton have not gone unnoticed by Jose. The 27-year-old Senegalese defensive midfielder has attempted the most tackles in the league ahead of Footballer of the Year, N’Golo Kante, and will be one of the first names on the sheet, if signed, alongside Paul Pogba.
James Rodriguez is expected to depart Real Madrid this summer as he has grown tired of his fringe role at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. His alliances with Jorge Mendes, Jose Mourinho’s agent mean that a deal wouldn’t be so hard to strike. Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Juan Mata are expected to form part of that attacking midfield Trident, a partnership that will strike fear into any defence on the continent.
There is only one man for this and it’s Antoine Griezmann. The 25-year-old has fueled speculation of a move to Old Trafford by claiming recently that there is a 6/10 chance of him joining The Red Devils.
Here is a graphical representation of the ideal 4-3-3 formation: