Ole Gunnar Solskjær wants to strengthen Manchester United in the centre-back, midfield, wide attacker and number nine positions, with Pau Torres, Declan Rice, Jadon Sancho and Harry Kane among his preferred targets.
Although the manager is conscious that adding four major signings is unlikely given an estimated total cost of more than £300 million (€349 million) and the availability of any particular player, he is intent at least on pursuing one in each of his identified areas to bolster a squad that requires an upgrade in quality and depth.
Even if United had beaten Villarreal in Wednesday’s Europa League final – they went down 11-10 on penalties – Solskjær would have adhered to the same recruitment policy. Of the identified quartet, the purchase of Borussia Dortmund’s Sancho is currently the most likely to occur and Kane’s the most remote, with Manchester City viewed as favourites to sign Tottenham’s Premier League Golden Boot winner.
United priced the total deal for Sancho at close to €250 million last summer including wages and an agent fee. West Ham would demand as much as £100 million (€116 million) for Rice, whom they have no plans to sell, and Villarreal’s Torres is priced at about €30 million, according to reports in Spain. Real Madrid’s centre-back Raphaël Varane is also on United’s radar, with the Frenchman’s value in the region of £60 million (€70 million).
It is thought the 35-year-old former United goalkeeper Tom Heaton is close to rejoining the club. His contract at Aston Villa expires next month.