Manchester United's summer transfer targets have been revealed, but it doesn't really matter who they sign
Manchester United were knocked out of the Champions League on Tuesday evening.
Sevilla punished Jose Mourinho's bizarrely cautious tactics with two second-half goals from Wissam Ben Yedder. United had spent the entire tie, both home and away, terrified to take the initiative and waiting for an opposition mistake that never came, rather than trying to attack a modestly talented team.
Romelu Lukaku's goal couldn't spark a late fightback and United supporters were left perplexed at what they had witnessed. Most of the criticism has been directed at the United players rather than their manager. However, this is ultimately redundant, as the players were merely following orders and working within the limited framework of their coach's reactive, out of date tactical outlook.
Jose Mourinho: “The first goal was always going to be important.”
Might have been a good idea to try and score it.
— Tom Williams (@tomwfootball) March 13, 2018
Yet, it appears United are about to buy more players for Mourinho to use as fall-guys for his bankrupt tactical approach. Because, as Steven Gerrard said on BT Sport on Tuesday night, the team need another three or four world class players to challenge for major trophies. In addition to all those great attacking players they already have, just give Mourinho another couple of hundred million to spend, never mind coaching players.
According to Miguel Delaney, writing in The Independent, Mourinho is prepared to allow as many as seven current United players leave the club in the summer. He wants to sign a defender to partner Eric Bailly - despite signing a defender to play alongside him last summer when he bought Victor Lindelof - and he wants a midfielder.
I'm repeating myself about Mourinho at this stage, but here's something I wrote about the match tonight... https://t.co/b2zlSRduGY
— Robert Redmond (@RobRedmond10) March 13, 2018
United are reportedly targeting Samuel Umtiti from Barcelona and Tottenham Hotspur defender Toby Alderweireld. They are also interested in a move for Marco Verratti from Paris Saint-Germain and have even discussed the possibility of swapping Paul Pogba for the Italian midfielder. However, they are "determined" to make it work with Pogba and haven't given up on the player yet.
Toni Kroos also interests United, and a transfer could depend upon Real Madrid's interest in David de Gea, and if the Spanish goalkeeper signs a new contract at Old Trafford. So, expect a busy summer at United.
However, it could be argued that it ultimately won't really matter who they sign if their main tactic is launching long throw-ins towards Marouane Fellaini, as what occurred on Tuesday night.
The report claims that the United manager feels his squad needs more "top-quality" players to compete with Manchester City, and he has the full support of Ed Woodward, the club's executive vice-chairman. Which conveys that United's problems go beyond Mourinho or Sanchez losing the ball constantly.