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Borussia Dortmund

What Man Utd’s 2021-22 matchday squad could look like as Solskjaer targets four positions


The new Premier League season may still be 61 days away, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is already making moves to revamp his Manchester United squad.

The Red Devils are making steady progress under the Norwegian, finishing second behind champions Manchester City this season — having come in third place in 2019-20.

Solskjaer’s side remain a fair distance off mounting a serious title challenge but the Norwegian will be hoping his side build on their recent good run of form to put that right in the forthcoming domestic campaign.

They also suffered heartbreak in the Europa League final, losing 11-10 on penalties to Villarreal in May, and that disappointing defeat would have underlined where United need to strengthen.

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is reportedly targeting up to four new signings
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is reportedly targeting up to four new signings

It is believed Solskjaer is looking to add four new players to his squad in the summer transfer window with up to four new arrivals expected this summer.

And as is the case with new signings, there will certainly be some players making way for them by clearing out their lockers at Old Trafford.

So, which players will be in contention to make Man United’s matchday squad for the 2021-22 season?

Goalkeepers

David de Gea could leave Manchester United if Dean Henderson is picked as Solskjaer's number one choice
David de Gea could leave Manchester United if Dean Henderson is picked as Solskjaer’s number one choice

Which goalkeeper should Ole Gunnar Solskjaer keep at Manchester United? Let us know in the comments section below.

The future of long-serving stopper David de Gea remains uncertain with ESPN reporting Solskjaer is yet to hold talks with the Spaniard over his position at the club.

The report claims that De Gea, who has been with the club since arriving from Atletico Madrid in 2011, will seek to leave this summer if Dean Henderson is chosen as the club’s new number one.

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England international Henderson, who was selected as part of Gareth Southgate’s 26-man squad for Euro 2020, started 10 out of the last 12 league fixtures, while De Gea was used more prominently in the Europa League.

Solskjaer has already completed the signing of veteran goalkeeper Tom Heaton, 35, to provide back-up for his new number one, with Sergio Romero and Joel Pereira both released after the expiry of their contracts.

But clearly, he has a choice to make in deciding whether to retain his faith in De Gea or look to the long-term with 24-year-old Henderson, knowing keeping both is no longer an option.

Defenders

Raphael Varane has been strongly linked with Manchester United
Raphael Varane has been strongly linked with Manchester United

Harry Maguire can look forward to getting back to full fitness in pre-season after the Euros. He is very likely to see Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw there too as he pulls up at Carrington.

As for the rest, there will be some concerned faces for sure in the United camp, with some members of the squad definitely fighting for their future.

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Solskjaer has made no attempt to hide his desire to sign a new centre-back to partner Maguire, with Raphael Varane, Jules Kounde and Cristian Romero some of the names heavily linked with United this summer.

That could spell bad news for Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly and Phil Jones. The former has featured regularly but struggled for form, while Bailly and Jones have been hit by injury in recent seasons.

Alex Telles has failed to make an impression since his £16m move from Porto last summer and could leave on a permanent deal, with United looking to bring in Atletico Madrid’s Kieran Trippier as a possible replacement for cover at left and right-back.

Brandon Williams and Axel Tuanzebe should be allowed to depart, either on a temporary basis or permanently, having spent this season on the fringes of the first team.

Midfielders

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Paul Pogba has only a year left to run on his contract
Paul Pogba has only a year left to run on his contract

The Paul Pogba conundrum will be an unwanted distraction for Solskjaer this summer as the Frenchman is yet to sign a new contract.

The 28-year-old will be mulling over whether to put pen to paper on a lucrative long-term deal or try his hand elsewhere as he approaches his peak years, with only a year left to run on his current deal.

Bruno Fernandes is the first name on the team sheet and his 27 goals last season mean the Portuguese, barring an unfortunate injury, will be their talisman next season.

United’s interest in Declan Rice seems to be there to stay although convincing West Ham to sell their prized asset could take a full summer of negotiations.

But Donny van de Beek may be looking for a way out of United after just one season in England, having made only four Premier League starts since his £40m move from Ajax, while Nemanja Matic, 32, has opened the door to returning to Benfica.

Juan Mata is reportedly in talks over a new deal despite only making 18 appearances last season, the majority of which came from the bench, and it seems Solskjaer will be content with his options in midfield if he can snap up Rice.

Attackers

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Manchester United are pursuing a deal for Jadon Sancho
Manchester United are pursuing a deal for Jadon Sancho

United have once again stepped up their efforts to sign Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund, although the clubs are still some way apart on agreeing a fee for the 21-year-old.

Sancho was one of the most in-form players in Europe’s top five leagues last season, scoring 16 goals and registering 14 assists for the Bundesliga outfit, and he has been Solskjaer’s top target for the best part of 18 months now.

With Sancho looking likely to arrive, it would be a surprise to see Anthony Martial named amongst Man United’s strikers when they submit their completed squad list to the Premier League in August.

The France international was snubbed by Didier Deschamps for his Euro 2020 squad and based on his form this season — seven goals in 45 appearances — there is little to argue about.

The leading triumvirate now is Marcus Rashford, Edinson Cavani and Mason Greenwood, with Martial left out in the cold amid an alarming dip in form, and it appears increasingly likely the 25-year-old will end his six-year spell in Manchester this summer.

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Daniel James could be following him as the Welsh winger simply hasn’t played enough, nor has he done enough, to suggest he should be an important player for United in 2021-22. Jesse Lingard should seal a move away from his boyhood club this summer, with West Ham keen to secure his services after an impressive loan spell.

Possible 20-man Man Utd matchday squad for 2021-22:

Starting XI: Henderson; Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Maguire, Shaw; McTominay, Pogba; Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes, Sancho; Rashford.

Subs: Heaton, Lindelof, Bailly, Trippier, Fred, Mata, Van de Beek, Amad, Cavani.





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