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Jamie Carragher: Man United will not be title contenders until they find a Rodri, Caicedo or Rice of their own

Manchester United are looking to challenge for the Premier League title this season after finishing third last term.

However, former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher does not see them mounting a stronger challenge without first improving their midfield.

The Red Devils have signed England international Mason Mount this summer but are still hoping to add Atalanta midfielder Sofyan Amrabat to their ranks before the transfer window closes.

They started the new Premier League campaign with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday but struggled to impress in the middle of the park.

Carragher reckons that failing to add another combative midfielder could prove costly.

“The 7-0 defeat at Anfield, when Casemiro was subbed after 76 minutes, was a red flag,” the Sky Sports pundit wrote in the Telegraph.

“United’s first performance of the season – a 1-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday Night Football – was another.

“Casemiro was too often isolated and lacked the dynamism and energy required for such a responsible position.

“Every time United toiled in the middle, the contrast with the youth and vigour Arsenal and Chelsea have secured with their recent midfield purchases became more pronounced.

“For decades, all the massive football spending was on the strikers or attacking players. A few years ago it was central defenders attracting world-record fees. Now coaches are desperate for resilience against high-pressing teams.

“Casemiro was once as good as anyone in the world at that. Now there is a danger United may have an expensive luxury they cannot afford. They will not be title contenders until they find a Rodri, (Moises) Caicedo or (Declan) Rice of their own.”

Casemiro will be 32 in February and is approaching the twilight of his career, so it is not a surprise that manager Erik ten Hag wants Amrabat.

Carragher never hesitates to scrutinise anything happening at Man United, and while he ended up being proven wrong over Lisandro Martinez last season, he is right to an extent concerning the Brazilian midfielder.

He could not keep up against Wolves and needs another solid addition in the middle of the park if the Red Devils want to keep getting the best out of the former Real Madrid star.

Signing a top defensive midfielder would improve their fortunes, and they will hope a deal can be done for Amrabat, with the Morocco international capable of hitting the ground running at Old Trafford.