Manchester United’s misery under the reign of the Glazer family’s ownership could at long last be coming to an end and every so often when one door closes, another even richer one opens.
This could prove to be the case for the Red Devils, who are rumoured to be the subject of a stunning, mega-money bid from a group of Qatari investors. The Glazers announced that they would be willing to sell last November and have set a deadline for all bids to be lodged by mid-February.
While as things stand, only INEOS chief and lifelong Manchester United fan Sir Jim Ratcliffe has gone public with his interest in the club, the interest from Qatar is thought to be growing. A report from Daily Mail claims the group involved would have no problem matching the current price tag placed on the club of £6billion.
With that in mind, it is reasonable to expect that if the Qatari investors are successful in their bid, they would have no problem with supplying United manager Erik ten Hag a transfer war chest unlike any other.
As a result, Mirror Football has analysed some of the potential dealings United could oversee once backed by Qatari investment and how it would change their first-choice starting line-up.
To begin with, David de Gea would surely be ousted sooner rather than later. A fantastic servant, but his time at the top appears to be coming to an end and in his place would be a fellow Spaniard in David Raya.
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The Brentford shot-stopper is actually already viewed as a superior option in regard to the national team and that could soon be the case at club level as well. Just last month, reports emerged that Raya had snubbed a contract extension with the Bees amid interest from a number of big-six sides, including United.
The heart of their defence would likely remain the same, such is the perfect blend of technical prowess and physical strength they currently boast in centre-back pairing Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane.
Luke Shaw would also be expected to keep his place at left-back, but on the opposite side of the pitch is where the next change would most likely come.
Right-back has been a problem area for United in recent years, with both Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Diogo Dalot enjoying brief spells in the team but neither doing enough to truly cement their place as a first-team regular.
As a result, United could reignite their interest in Inter Milan ace Denzel Dumfries, who was actually touted with a move to Old Trafford last summer. The Dutchman has previous in the Eredivisie and is well-known to Ten Hag, who is thought to be an admirer.
Casemiro has been a shining light of United’s season so far and would remain one of the first names on the team sheet regardless of how much money the club has in the bank.
His midfield partner would almost certainly change though, with the much-maligned Fred making way for the apple of Ten Hag’s eye in Barcelona ace Frenkie de Jong.
The Red Devils spent all summer desperately trying to lure the Dutchman to Old Trafford but failed and he remains at the Camp Nou for now. While there were conflicting reports over whether De Jong actually wanted to join, his past relationship with Ten Hag from their time at Ajax will surely work in United’s favour.
In front of that duo would be a trio of players United already boast within their ranks, Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes and Antony.
Rashford and Fernandes have enjoyed stellar careers at Old Trafford and though the jury is still out on Antony after a relatively underwhelming first half of the season, it is unlikely Ten Hag casts aside a player that cost £84m so soon, especially one he pushed to sign.
Arguably the most notable addition would be that of Tottenham talisman Harry Kane.
Morale may be high around North London at the moment in regards to Kane after the England skipper broke Spurs’ all-time goalscoring record, but make no mistake he will want some silverware to show for his extraordinary talent soon enough.
Kane’s Spurs contract expires next summer, meaning the next window presents Daniel Levy’s last real chance to cash in on the superstar striker and create a window for United to swoop.