As the 2020-21 season draws to a close, clubs are preparing the shortlist of players they want to sign in the summer transfer window.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had adverse economic implications on the finances of the clubs worldwide.
Manchester United have improved significantly under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but they are still some distance away from matching champions-elect Manchester City.
The Red Devils have named a new recruitment team led by football director John Murtough and technical director Darren Fletcher.
In previous transfer windows, United have failed to sign their primary targets. Also, the new signings have been secured in the latter stages of the window.
Bringing players in late does not benefit the manager because they need time to fit into his style of play and gel with the team. Not every player is a Bruno Fernandes.
Solskjaer has often stressed the importance of completing deals as soon as possible.
Ed Woodward opted against breaking the bank for Jadon Sancho last summer. With him in the team, one has to wonder whether United might have mounted a more serious title challenge this season.
Solskjaer needs few more quality additions to his team. He will be hoping that the club signs a fast centre-back, a striker and a creative right-winger.
However, the Red Devils might be able to sign only one key player due to the inflated market and weak financial conditions.
Jadon Sancho and Harry Kane have been heavily linked with United and a few other clubs.
Defenders Raphael Varane and Jules Kounde are also rumoured to be on United’s shortlist. But recent reports suggest that their rivals Chelsea are ahead of them in the race.
Murtough and Fletcher must avoid making the same mistake as Woodward, who waited until the last minute to negotiate for key targets.
Quality players such as Sancho, Kane, and Varane are not always available. The United of old moved quickly to sign Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo and Rio Ferdinand when the opportunities arose.
Smart deals like the Robin van Persie deal or the iconic Roy Keane transfer show that backing the manager and moving quickly in the transfer market is pivotal to improvement.
United must complete the important deals and begin planning for the new season as soon as possible, even if it means spending a little more.
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