Fabrizio Romano has shone a light on Manchester United’s priorities heading into the January transfer window, with the futures of Alejandro Garnacho, Diogo Dalot, and Marcus Rashford, as well as the need to replace Cristiano Ronaldo, central to their thinking.
The reliable reporter claims that the club are deciding on their next steps regarding these three players, all of whom will see their contracts expire in the summer should United not agree new terms or trigger their extension clauses.
“Manchester United are discussing internally about next steps to do, so it’s time to decide the strategy, budget is a key factor after spending big money in the summer,” Romano said in his daily briefing.
“New contracts are key topic too: Dalot, Rashford and Garnacho are three priorities, talks will take place with all of them waiting for United to decide on new striker.
“In my opinion, United getting in the top four this season depends on who they can sign up front, let’s see what they will do!”
It is unlikely that Dalot will care too much whether or not United bring in a striker, but there is a possibility that he is waiting to see if the club bring in a right back this winter.
The Portugal star has enjoyed a huge spike in playing time this season as Erik ten Hag sees him as his only viable option in the position.
Should a player like Denzel Dumfries, Josip Juranovic, or Jeremie Frimpong be brought in, Dalot may want to wait and see if he ends up playing second fiddle to a new player before agreeing to extend his stay at Old Trafford.
Dumfries is unlikely to move until June while Josip Juranovic and Frimpong would likely be brought in to rotate with Dalot – it may be a case of the player seeking assurances over playing time before committing himself to a new contract.
The same can be said of Marcus Rashford and Alejandro Garnacho, both of whom could see their status in the squad slip should a forward be brought in.
Cody Gakpo, in particular, operates in similar areas of the pitch to both of these players and – for the fee he would cost – would not be signed as a benchwarmer.
Of course, all three players may be looking to the club to prove their ambitions of mounting a serious challenge for silverware with a big signing, although that could prove difficult midseason.
In any case, the club will not be allowing any of them to walk away for nothing in the coming summer and will trigger extensions as needed.
That would only delay the issues, however, and as such United will be doing everything in their power to tie down these three stars to fresh terms as they look to secure a replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo.