Man Utd: Solskjaer urges team to use Europa pain to rebuild
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Manchester United are primed to enter talks with Leicester over a potential transfer deal for Caglar Soyuncu, it has been claimed. Raphael Varane is thought to be the Red Devils’ top centre-back target. But it appears Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is looking elsewhere, too, as he looks to sign a solid partner for Harry Maguire.
Manchester United want a new centre-back.
With Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly and Axel Tuanzebe all struggling for consistency, Solskjaer is aware his side need more if they’re to challenge Manchester City for the Premier League title.
United have other areas of their squad they’d like to address but, as things stand, they have centre-back as one of their priorities.
So far, links to Varane have been intensifying – especially with the Real Madrid star’s contract at the Bernabeu due to expire next year.
But, in a sudden new development, Turkish journalist Ekrem Konur has claimed United are primed to enter talks with Leicester over a deal for Soyuncu.
“Continuing their search for a stopper, Manchester United have put Caglar Soguncu (sic) on the transfer list,” he said on Twitter.
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“Talks with Leicester City are scheduled to take place soon.
“He is closely following Caglar Soyuncu at Chelsea.”
United, it seems, face competition from Chelsea when it comes to signing the Leicester star – who helped the Foxes win the FA Cup last season.
But difficult negotiations are to be expected, especially if the Maguire case of two years ago is anything to go by.
United tried to negotiate with Leicester for Maguire in 2018 but ended up failing to bring him to Old Trafford, before then snapping him up 12 months later.
Yet talks with Leicester dragged on throughout the entirety of the summer transfer window and it wasn’t until just before deadline day they were able to bring the centre-back to Old Trafford.
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For now, Varane still seems the likelier bet.
But United are also hoping to sign several other players as they look to win the Premier League title for the first time since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement back in 2013.
Jadon Sancho is their top target overall and noises over the weekend suggest the club are close to snapping up the Borussia Dortmund star, four years after they first tried.
United are admirers of West Ham midfielder Declan Rice, while Solskjaer has long been keen on snapping up Jack Grealish.
And, up top, the Red Devils haven’t slammed the door shut on a return for Cristiano Ronaldo – even if it appears unlikely to happen.
Speaking recently, however, United legend Wes Brown expressed a belief just three arrivals were needed to close the gap on City and push them for the biggest trophies on offer.
“I’ve definitely seen an improvement at Manchester United in the past 12 months or so,” he said.
“On their day they can beat any team in the world, I just think they struggle to perform in the games where you’d expect them to win.
“Sometimes I think we were guilty of being a little bit short in midfield and the back-line has changed quite a lot throughout the season. Normally you have your two centre-halves set in stone and you build from there.
“Ole should be looking at three key areas where he can strengthen the first-team, and that’s with a new centre-back, a midfielder and a striker.
“The club needs to lose a few players as well, and I know that’s sometimes easier said than done, but they’ve got to make some room for new arrivals.
“They definitely need a strong midfielder to come in and play week-in and week-out.
“I thought the club managed alright last season up-front but I’d still say they need a big name up there – especially for when someone like Anthony Martial isn’t fit.
“Whenever one of our attackers got the slightest knock, we really struggled. You’re looking around at the bench and thinking ‘where’s our Ole Gunnar Solskjaer?’ That player who can make a difference. There just needs to be a bit of strength in depth in that area.
“I probably went to every home game last season, and I have to say it was really disappointing at times.
“Away from home the team were fantastic, like they were playing with no fear, but at home they seemed to really struggle.
“We never really got our rhythm going; but if that changes, then it’s a completely different story. You’d hope the return of fans has a positive impact in those results at Old Trafford next season.”
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