Sunday’s derby exposed the weaknesses in United’s team – so where does Jose Mourinho need to strengthen, and more specifically, who does he need to sign in order to take his team past Manchester City? We start with the three players who would at least make a start.
It was clear that Ivan Perisic was a significant part of Mourinho’s transfer plans; a point made obvious by the increased marginalisation of Romelu Lukaku in United’s games. However, talk of a return for the Inter Milan player has been quiet because of the form of Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford on that side of the pitch. These are two direct players but they don’t offer the creativity of Perisic.
With Henrikh Mkhitaryan out of form and out of favour, and the conflict of putting Juan Mata in a team which needs to be quicker, an alternative solution needs to be found and Mesut Ozil, the want away Arsenal playmaker, is ideal. Coming up to being available on a free transfer, Ozil clearly ticks that box, and whilst maybe not on the level of a Kevin De Bruyne, the German is a fantastic enough player to alleviate the pressure off Paul Pogba and be an alternative for Mourinho that is a step up from what he currently has.
Here is one of those internet rumoured ones; the likes of Calico Mercato and Tancredi Palmieri might have made money from attaching the Brazilian’s name to Manchester United but as time has passed it seems the Monaco utility man would be perfect for Mourinho.
6’2, able to play right back or combative midfield, and a reliable supply of goals (he scored 12 goals in 16/17, and 8 in 15/16), Fabinho seems the perfect player to see if he can take over Antonio Valencia long term.
Far from a long-term solution, Modric will be 33 in September. However he is still a player of undeniable class and Real Madrid’s hunt for Barcelona’s Sergi Roberto means there will be a need to free up a place in the team, and a need to free up funds.
Modric is familiar with the Premier League, shouldn’t cost an inexplicable amount of money (to free up cash for a striker?) and most importantly of all is a significant upgrade of United’s midfield options in terms of what he offers aside of Pogba and Matic.