Man Utd verdict: Red Devils all at sea without Maguire and MUST spend transfer budget on defender over Sancho and Co.
MANCHESTER UNITED need to make a top class centre back their main priority this summer.
Even if that means blowing most of their transfer budget and missing out on Jadon Sancho for the second successive summer.
The word coming out of Old Trafford is that Edinson Cavani’s new contract means they will not spend big on a striker ahead of next season.
And some fans will be disappointed to learn that if Harry Kane or Erling Haaland do become available there’ll be no offer from the Red Devils.
Yet with Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood and Anthony Martial, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes he has enough firepower.
And the last three days have shown why the more pressing need is for a commanding central defender to arrive.
Harry Maguire has had his critics since his £80million move from Leicester two years ago.
However he is currently out injured and the skipper has been missed. Without him United look vulnerable.
Former United defender Gary Neville talked of the huge drop off between the England man and the rest of Solskjaer’s options.
He described the home side’s defence as ‘scabby’ – and it certainly looked ragged for 30 minutes either side of the break.
Eric Bailly signed a new contract last month but the feeling is it was more for United to protect their asset.
The Ivorian has started only 90 matches in five years at the club and his managers have not been able to rely on him.
Ironically he was the man asked to start two days in 48 hours – and it looked like It too.
The man alongside him Victor Lindelof is still struggling to win the doubters over four years after he arrived.
Both have looked decent enough alongside Maguire but without him last night they looked an accident waiting to happen.
Once United’s bright start had fizzled out, the visitors pulled the hosts' defence around at will.
And they did not help themselves either – with some hopeless attempts to clear leading to Liverpool’s third goal just after half time.
Axel Tuanzebe clearly has great potential but needs time to bed in – so there will need to be spent on a centre half.
Seville’s Jules Kounde, Raphael Varane of Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund’s Dan Axel Zagadou have all been linked.
And despite the effects of the pandemic on finances, the Glazer family are going to have to spend big to get the right one.
Former skipper Roy Keane believes United have to go out and splash the cash if they are to have any hopes of catching new champions Manchester City.
He said: "The group they have at the moment are still nowhere near good enough to win titles.
"I mentioned a few weeks ago that they needed one or two, they probably need four or five players to compete with Man City.”
The feeling is they will go for two – a centre back and a wide forward, with Jadon Sancho still of interest.
The past few days – with back to back home defeats – have shown there is still plenty of room for improvement.
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