Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must be wondering where to start in his attempt to rebuild Manchester United.
Despite spending almost £150million last summer, the Red Devils are still nowhere near Manchester City or Liverpool.
Bruno Fernandes could be a Manchester United player by the end of the month
Solskjaer reportedly believes it will take six signings over the next two transfer windows to fix the problem at Old Trafford, starting this month.
Plenty of names have been thrown around but the most likely addition appears to be Sporting Lisbon’s Bruno Fernandes.
The Portugal midfielder was a prime target for a number of Europes biggest clubs last summer, including the Red Devils, after a stunning season in which he scored 31 goals.
According to the Mirror, Sporting have already rejected one player-plus-cash offer from the Red Devils for the 25-year-old, so United will return with a 100 per cent cash bid to match Sportings £65m valuation.
Boubakary Soumare (left) has been compared to Paul Pogba before
United are desperately short in midfield, with Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay both nursing long-term injuries.
And reports claim the club might also move for 20-year-old Lille midfielder Boubakary Soumare, as well as Fernandes, to fill the void.
While Fernandes is known for his attacking prowess, £50m-rated Soumare is your classic box-to-box midfielder, and the two would certainly compliment each other nicely.
Here’s talkSPORT.com takes a look at how United’s midfield could be transformed with the addition of the duo.
Option 1
There can be little doubt about Man United’s strongest XI if everyone is fit and they land these two midfield talents.
Their midfield trio of Fred, Jesse Lingard and Andreas Pereria – which started in the recent 3-1 defeat to Man City – seriously lacked inspiration.
But most importantly, it lacks goals, and that’s something which Fernandes has the potential to provide in abundance.
His remarkable goalscoring return in recent years is made more impressive by the fact he usually operates on the right a midfield three, with three forwards in front of him.
And with Soumare covering the defensive duties, Fernandes and Pogba would both be free to join in and realise their attacking potential.
Option 2
Or… Solskjaer might opt to restrict Pogba in order to add a bit more defensive stability.Soumare usually plays in a double pivot for Lille, and at 20-years old, Solskjaer might be wary of giving him so much responsibility in midfield.
Fernandes has been deployed in a No. 10 role for Sporting on various occasions, and with two holding midfielders behind him, the Portugal international could be even more explosive.
To sum up, there’s a chance that, by February, Manchester United could have an entirely new midfield.
Pogba will feel like a new signing when he returns from injury, given how much football he has missed, while the signings of Fernandes and Soumare look increasingly likely.
And, on paper at least, it looks like a totally complete midfield.
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