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Manchester United need three transfers to make them title contenders

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There are only four days left of the summer transfer window and time is running out if Manchester United are to add the finishing touches to a summer of progress off the pitch.

Heading into the window Ole Gunnar Solskjaer identified right wing and centre-back as the two areas most in need of improvement – the club’s response was to sign top targets Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane.

Tom Heaton also arrived on a free to add further competition to the goalkeeping department, but business elsewhere has left many fans asking for another new face at Old Trafford — with that now looking very likely to be Cristiano Ronaldo after a dramatic day of transfer developments on Friday.

While United certainly have the potential to embark on a successful Premier League title challenge this season any success would still be slightly surprising given the strength elsewhere in the division.

If they want to be considered favourites then further investment will be needed and here are three signings who would transform United and see them close the gap on their closest rivals.

A world-class forward (and/or Ronaldo)

It goes without saying, but if United are to win the Premier League they will need to find a way to match the standards set by Man City, Chelsea and Liverpool in front of goal.

Edinson Cavani is still the only natural No.9 at the club but can only be relied upon to start one match a week while teenage sensation Mason Greenwood still has work to do if he is to perform regularly in a central role.

Signing a new centre-forward will likely be the priority for United next summer with Erling Haaland recognised as the dream long-term target for the club by both Solskjaer and club officials.

Tottenham star Harry Kane could also be a contender for the role after he failed to engineer a summer move to Manchester, another world-class option who would bring a huge increase in quality to the attacking line.

Either of them would fit the bill for United, though the downside is Solskjaer will need to wait until next year before one of them can actually be signed. If not, Ronaldo will do in the mean time.

A defensive midfield specialist

While it is easy to predict the impact of a new striker at the club perhaps the biggest change would come with the arrival of a specialist defensive midfielder.

Solskjaer has been keen to switch to a 4-3-3 this season but still needs to have a reliable midfield anchor in place if he is to push ahead with making it a permanent change.

United are still better on the counter-attack than they are breaking teams down in possession, but that could change if they sign a new midfielder who would allow them to indulge in their attacking talents and play with only one holding man.

David Moyes says West Ham will not sell their £100m-rated players this summer window. (Image: Justin Tallis/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) Declan Rice is the dream target in this area and is keen to leave West Ham, though there are still concerns over his price-tag with the London side under little pressure to sell.

Wilfred Ndidi and Ruben Neves are two alternatives, while Eduardo Camavinga is a long-term option of interest, though he would prefer a move to Spain.

An attacking full-back

One deal that could be completed by deadline day is that of a new right-back with United still interested in a move for Kieran Trippier despite Atletico Madrid refusing to budge on his valuation.

Solskjaer is keen to sign a new right-back in order to add competition for Aaron Wan-Bissaka with United coaches eager to unlock more attacking output from the position.

Dortmund are interested in signing full-back Diogo Dalot before the transfer deadline and United are believed to be holding daily dialogue with Trippier’s representatives to be kept abreast of any developments.

Even if a new arrival doesn’t manage to dislodge Wan-Bissaka in the starting line up it is crucial United sign cover for the former Crystal Palace man having grown over-reliant on him.

Brandon Williams and Ethan Laird have both been loaned out this summer leaving United short on options at full-back, another endorsement of Trippier is that he can play on both sides of defence.

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