What Do They Need Before Window Closes?
Manchester United need three players to be Premier League title challengers this season, says Charlie Nicholas.
Louis van Gaal added Memphis Depay, Matteo Darmian, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Morgan Schneiderlin and Sergio Romero to his squad this summer and has seen his side kick off the new campaign with back-to-back wins.
However, Nicholas says United should target another centre-back and a couple of forwards if they want to seriously mount a title tilt this term.
“Six points out of six is a great start but Manchester United haven’t been impressive and I think they are three players shy of being serious title contenders,” said the Sky Sports pundit.
“Up front, there’s Wayne Rooney – but you need three top strikers to pick from. James Wilson did well last season as a wide man but I don’t think you can put him in that category yet. They need two strikers.
“I also think they could do with another centre-back. Phil Jones is consistently injured so they need back-up there. I think they still have a lot of work to do.”
Manchester United may be on the verge of adding one of the two forwards Nicholas says they need. According to Spanish football expert Guillem Balague, Barcelona's Pedro has already agreed terms on a move – and will become a United player should the Old Trafford outfit agree a fee with his current owners. With multiple league and Champions League winners’ medals in his trophy cabinet – not to mention World Cup and European Championship wins with Spain – hard-working Pedro would bring plenty of experience.
Talented Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte could interest United’s scouts. The 20-year-old left-footer had a £36.5m buyout clause inserted into his contract in June and has helped his club to a Spanish Super Cup win over Barcelona in the past week. After United missed out on Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos, could the France U21 international centre-back be an option for the future?