Manchester United have been told that making just one signing could make all the difference to silence neighbours Manchester City in the Premier League title race next season.
In-form forward Edinson Cavani has already signed up for next term, meaning United do not have to go into the market for a striker. However, former United and Tottenham striker Garth Crooks insists that a world-class centre-back has to be signed.
The Red Devils were expected to spend heavily on a new attacking recruit. However, those funds can now go towards bringing in a new partner for Harry Maguire.
Crooks, who played five times for the club between 1983 and 1984, has suggested that his old club should target at least one quality central defender this summer – in order to stand the best chance of returning to the Premier League’s summit.
“Manchester United have convinced the Uruguayan to stay at Old Trafford for another season,” began Crooks, writing for his BBC Sport column.
“This is a major achievement for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and will save him a fortune in the transfer market. It won’t do the attacking prowess of Rashford and the extraordinary talented Mason Greenwood any harm either.
“Buy a decent centre-half and United have a squad fit for a Premier League title.”
Several names in the frame
Leicester’s Wesley Fofana has also been mentioned, but the Foxes insist one of their star men is going nowhere.
Solskjaer did hint at the beginning of May that he would look to bolster his back-line.
The Red Devils boss said: “Victor [Lindelof] and Harry have been solid, very reliable and have created a very good relationship.
“Eric Bailly has just signed a new deal. Axel Tuanzebe has played very well when he’s had the chance and, hopefully, we’ll have a new player in Phil Jones next season when he’s fit.
“But we are always looking for improvement, always looking at every department. And if there are players that come in and challenge them or take their place, then that’s great.
“I have felt that myself at Manchester United and that is the way it has to be here. We sign players to challenge the ones we have here already. If you don’t step up, players will take your place.
“That fear of losing your position has to be there. I always felt that when the gaffer signed new strikers I had to step up. I had to get better and make sure he didn’t want to sell me.”
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