OPINIONManchester United need a winger like Antonio Valencia and there is an obvious target

Barring a stunning resurgence, a conservative estimate would suggest Manchester United need another seven signings next summer: back-up goalkeeper, right-back, centre-back, two central midfielders, a winger and a goalscorer.

 

Tom Heaton, 38 in April, is out of contract in the summer and so is the brittle 35-year-old Jonny Evans. Something has to give with Raphael Varane and Harry Maguire while Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s deal includes a one-year option that is expected to be triggered to preserve his resale value.

Unless Sofyan Amrabat performs like a demon over the next six months, it would be brainless to accept Fiorentina’s proposal of a €20million offer to buy. Casemiro and Christian Eriksen, both 32 in February, have succumbed to injury, Antony is a dud and his namesake Martial is another flaky Frenchman United have to release.

That is without mentioning the meek Donny van de Beek and Jadon Sancho, players United must endeavour to sever ties with in January. Seven signings is quite modest.

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