Jose Mourinho must prepare for a huge summer of transfers at Manchester United, according to former-Red Paul Ince.
The Portuguese manager signed a new deal at the club this week to extend his stay at Old Trafford until 2020, showing the board’s faith in him and thus hinting to a huge summer ahead of spending.
Mourinho has brought in big name players for big money in Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku while huge wages are being paid to Alexis Sanchez and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Mourinho’s reputation has certainly been responsible for Man United’s recent success in the transfer market.
Ince suggested that United can’t sit back and will need another massive transfer window to catch up with Manchester City.
“There’s a seriously big summer coming for Manchester United,” Ince said. “When you’re a club like that, you’re always trying to improve. And sometimes, that means current players lose out, but that’s just how it goes.
“Come summer, I’m expecting around three or four more players to come to Old Trafford. There are still issues to address, and it’s all Jose Mourinho forming his team.
“It sounds brutal, but that left-back area will surely be one of Jose’s priorities,” Ince said, despite Mourinho describing Luke Shaw as one of the best left-backs in the world in recent weeks.
“Matteo Darmian has been far from impressive, and I still don’t believe Mourinho thinks Shaw is the answer. Danny Rose is a name that keeps popping up, with him not getting a game at Tottenham, and he would be fantastic at United. If I was Mourinho, I’d be looking to sign him.
“Another one you have to think about is how long is Antonio Valencia going to keep going? He’s been truly incredible this season, and he still looks strong and fit, but he’s 32 now and it would be good to have cover sooner rather than later for him.
“No United fan likes to accept it, but the chances are those chats from Real Madrid about David de Gea will start rearing their heads again. So, if you’re Mourinho and you know they could be on the horizon, do you start looking out for a top class goalkeeper?
“This one might shock people, but I reckon Mourinho will be on the lookout for another striker. A different kind of striker to Lukaku, more of a fox in the box. Obviously, it looks as though Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be on his way out unfortunately, so he could do with having a back-up option there. Someone who is lethal in front of goal is needed at the club, an out and out goal scorer.”
Preparing for the departure of De Gea is sensible and necessary, but tying the Spaniard down to a new contract is the best step for United to focus on next. The idea of another striker is possible but with Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford in the squad and developing well, as well as the recent signing of Alexis Sanchez, that would seem a waste of the transfer budget.
There are also very few strikers who would be willing to sacrifice the game time to be Lukaku’s understudy.
It will be a huge summer, though, with United needing to spend to catch up Pep Guardiola’s Man City next season.