Why Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is not prioritising a centre-back for Manchester United in the transfer …


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be given significant funds to rebuild Manchester United (Picture: Getty)

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has not made signing a centre-back a priority this summer as he feels there’s areas of his Manchester United squad that require more urgent attention.

The Norwegian wants to sign as many as five players this summer to reinvigorate a muddled, bloated squad at Old Trafford.

United conceded 54 goals in the Premier League last term and failed to keep a clean sheet at the Theatre of Dreams all season.

The Red Devils handed new deals to Ashley Young, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones shortly after Solskjaer took interim charge last December and the Norwegian had been content with his options in central defence.

Metro.co.uk revealed in March that Solskjaer would prioritise a right-back, left-back, central midfielder and right winger this summer.

Varane is seen as the ideal acquisition (Picture: Getty)

Solskjaer remains keen on making additions in those areas and will not buy a centre-back for the sake of it.

United have a long-term interest in Real Madrid star Raphael Varane and would be prepared to sanction a world record deal for a defender should the Frenchman intimate he’d be keen on a move to Old Trafford.

Similarly, Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly has plenty of admirers at the club but the Italians are in a strong position given he signed a new contract in 2018 and would push for a deal close to £100m.

United believe Matthijs de Ligt is set to join Barcelona and, in any case, the Dutchman would not leave Ajax to play in the Europa League.

United remain keen on Jadon Sancho (Picture: Getty)

United pursued cheaper options under Jose Mourinho but the club are now prepared to wait for the right defender in a fashion similar to Liverpool’s pursuit of Virgil van Dijk.

Solskjaer considers Victor Lindelof as his first choice centre-back and told the Swede as much in a meeting towards the end of last season.

The Norwegian feels Lindelof would benefit from having a more ‘robust’ partner next to him and Leicester City’s Harry Maguire has not been ruled out.

Nevertheless, with Smalling, Jones and Eric Bailly all available to partner Lindelof, Solskjaer feels the position can wait until the right player becomes available.

More: Manchester United FC

Marcos Rojo is free to leave the club this summer but United must find a buyer for the Argentine, who is on around £90,000-a-week at the Theatre of Dreams on a contract signed in March 2018.

Axel Tuanzebe is set to join United’s pre-season tour of Australia and could be kept should he impress, though Villa would be interested in keeping the defender on loan for another season if they are promoted to the Premier League.

United remain keen on Jadon Sancho but are not confident that Dortmund will do business this summer having already sanctioned the sale of Christian Pulisic to Chelsea.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka is a target at right-back, while Bruno Fernandes and Declan Rice are targets in midfield.

MORE: Jose Mourinho hopes Anthony Martial ‘reaches real potential’ after underwhelming season for Man Utd





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