Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is now Manchester United manager on a permanent basis.
And while there is plenty to fight for this season, with the Red Devils still in the hunt for a top four spot and the Champions League, the Norwegian will be turning his attention to next term and his first full campaign in charge.
United were poor under Jose Mourinho in the first half of this season, but have improved a lot under Solskjaer.
Yet they’ll have to improve more over the summer if they are to get back to competing for trophies on all fronts.
And that starts with reinforcements.
United fans will expect more players to arrive in the summer to strengthen the team – but who could they be?
Here we give you a shortlist of five top players Solskjaer could make his first signing at United:
Gareth BaleEmbed from Getty Images
We couldn’t write this list without including Bale on it. He’s long been linked with a move to Manchester United and that speculation has only grown stronger after a poor season with Real Madrid. While Zinedine Zidane’s return to the Spanish giants should be a boost to every player, Bale may still feel that his time in Madrid is coming to an end. And United would be the perfect landing spot. They need a quality player to attack off the right and he would fit that role perfectly. Also, he’d be a marquee signing that United fans always demand. At 29, Bale still has a lot to do in the game.
Thomas MeunierEmbed from Getty Images
It’s clear United are in need of a right back. Diogo Dalot has played there at times this season, but doesn’t look convincing defensively. Antonio Valencia hasn’t played since January and has only appeared eight times this term. And Ashley Young has shown he’s not a long-term quality option there. So, how about Meunier as his replacement? The PSG full-back has never really played regularly with the French side and has had to compete with German youngster Thilo Kehrer at right back this season. At 27, is that really what the Belgian needs? He’d be first choice at United and a quality one at that, fitting with the all-round attacking and defending full-backs they’ve been famed for over the years.
Matthijs de LigtEmbed from Getty Images
If United are to go for de Ligt, they’ll have to beat off competition from a number of top European clubs, including Barcelona and Bayern Munich. The Dutchman has enjoyed a meteoric rise to the top of the game with Ajax this season, showing he’s a quality player domestically, in Europe and with the national team. United would have to pay top dollar to get de Ligt, but he’s a Virgil van Dijk-type signing that would really benefit the team and the club overall. At 19, he’s a perfect United signing.
Rodrigo BentancurEmbed from Getty Images
What happens to Bentancur when Juventus add Aaron Ramsey to their ranks this summer? They already have Miralem Pjanic, Sami Khedira, Blaise Matuidi and Emre Can as other midfield options – and you’d assume Ramsey is arriving from Arsenal as a definite starter. So, Bentancur might find himself on the bench even more next season onwards. He’s only made 24 starts for Juve this term and doesn’t seem to have persuaded Massimiliano Allegri that he should be starting every game. At United, he could be the deep-lying playmaker they need. You’d expect Solskjaer will want a Paul Scholes-type midfielder to dictate play. Sure, there aren’t many of those around European football, but Bentancur is pretty close and could be available this summer if the price is right.
Krzysztof PiątekEmbed from Getty Images
Piatek is an outside shout for United – and not one they definitely need given some of their attacking options. But as a former striker, Solskjaer will no doubt want more goals in his squad and will feel Marcus Rashford and Romelu Lukaku aren’t enough at the moment. Piatek has been a goalscoring machine over recent seasons and has made some start to life at AC Milan this term. He’s scored 27 goals in 31 games this term and has two in three for Poland as well. We see Piatek as a signing in the same style as Ruud van Nistelrooy.