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Rudderless United must spend £200m or forget CL football

Manchester United have had a quiet start to the summer transfer window, and they are yet to secure any new signing.

Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount is currently the priority target, but a deal is hanging in the balance due to the asking price.

United were hoping for a quick deal for the 24-year-old with his contract expiring next summer, but that has not been the case.

The club have failed with three separate bids for the Englishman. The Blues continue to hold out for £65 million for their player.

The Red Devils have not given up on the midfielder, but need to make a quick decision to either improve their bid or move on.

For a club that finished third in the Premier League last season, there has certainly been a lack of urgency in the transfer market.

Erik ten Hag is set to conduct pre-season training from next week and as things stand, there won’t be any new faces to work with.

Football director John Murtough has had a tendency to pursue one player at a time, and United must be more pro-active soon.

A creative midfielder is obviously a target for the club, but the main emphasis should be placed on recruiting a centre-forward.

Anthony Martial is currently the only specialist striker in the squad. He netted just nine goals in the recently-concluded campaign.

The Frenchman missed a staggering 29 games with injuries last term, and it is clear that United cannot rely on him as the main man.

The club need an emerging striker that can stay fit over 40 to 50 games on a stretch. Atalanta’s Rasmus Hojlund could be an option.

The 20-year-old managed 23 goal contributions for Sturm Graz and Atalanta last season, and would fit right into Ten Hag’s plans.

He has huge potential to develop into an elite number nine, and reports in Italy claim that he could be prised away for around £52m.

Deals for Hojlund and Mount alone could take United’s spending spree to over £100m. In our view, United need a few more signings.

With David de Gea’s future growingly uncertain, a top-class goalkeeper should be pursued. Talks are underway with Inter for Andre Onana.

The Nerazzurri are prepared to part ways with the Cameroonian star for £43m up front with add-ons.

Meanwhile, a central defender is another necessity if Harry Maguire heads for the exit door. Monaco’s Axel Disasi is on the club’s transfer radar.

The Ligue 1 outfit are open to parting ways with the Frenchman, who is eager to join United. They could demand a maximum fee of around £43m.

In our view, United must spend close to £200m this summer in order to avoid losing ground on their Champions League rivals next season.

Manchester City are unlikely to be displaced from the top four while Arsenal have shown big intent with a number of early deals on the horizon.

Newcastle United have also made a statement with an agreement to sign AC Milan’s Sandro Tonali.

Aside from these three clubs, the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur are bound to improve with big investment this summer.

Hence, United can’t take last season’s third-place league finish for granted, and need to speed up their transfer business in the coming weeks.

The club have a limited pre-sales budget of around £120m, but should prioritise incomings first before looking to part ways with dispensable players.

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