Manchester United’s summer rebuild continues, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks to revitalise his under-performing squad at Old Trafford.
Whilst Manchester United fans excitedly anticipate new arrivals, several first-team stars could leave in a summer of overhaul.
Paul Pogba’s future remains uncertain at the club, with the France international admitting he is thinking about a ‘new challenge‘ amid interest from Real Madrid and Juventus.
Pogba’s mix of technical and physical attributes would make him difficult to replace and should the club’s record signing depart, he will leave a huge void in the United midfield.
Here are five players that United could target as potential Paul Pogba replacements…
The Tottenham midfielder has been linked with an exit this summer, having stalled on negotiations over a new contract. The Danish international is entering the final 12 months of his deal in North London, and Spurs could opt to sell rather than run the risk of losing him for nothing next summer.
Eriksen himself is believed to be open to a move this summer, and just like Pogba, has admitted that he is ready to try something new amid reported interest from Real Madrid.
The 27-year-old is established as one of the Premier League‘s finest playmakers, scoring eight goals and providing 12 assists for Mauricio Pochettino’s side last season.
Whilst different in terms of style to Pogba, Eriksen could be the ideal player to replace the 26-year-old as United’s creative fulcrum. The Frenchman led United for both goals and assists in the Premier League last season and the addition of an elite creator such as Eriksen would help compensate for his potential departure.
A player strongly linked with a move to Old Trafford, the Sporting Lisbon midfielder has emerged as one of the most in-demand players in Europe this summer after a prolific season in the Portuguese capital.
The 24-year-old scored 32 goals in all competitions for Sporting last season, with the Portuguese international possessing the qualities to replace Pogba’s goal return from midfield.
Fernandes was part of the Portuguese national side which won the Nations League this summer, having earned 13 caps since his debut in 2017.
Manchester City and Liverpool have also been credited with an interest, with the attacking midfielder likely to cost in excess of £40m.
The Monaco midfielder impressed during a loan spell at Leicester in the second half of last season, sparking interest from several Premier League clubs.
The Belgian international is capable of playing as an orthodox midfielder and in a more attacking role, having scored three goals and provided four assists for the Foxes after joining in January.
At 22, Tielemans fits the profile of player Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is believed to be interested in this summer as the Norwegian looks to inject youth and potential into his squad.
The French side are believed to be demanding a fee of around £40m for his services which may deter interest, however, the youngster could develop into an elite midfield player.
The France international is available on a free this summer after leaving Paris Saint-Germain, and whilst vastly different to Pogba in style, would represent a high-quality addition to United’s midfield options.
The 24-year-old is comfortable in possession and a fine passer, as evidenced by his 93% pass success rate before being frozen out by the French champions in December.
Whilst Rabiot does not possess the goal threat of his compatriot, his 6ft 2 frame would help compensate for the loss of Pogba’s physicality and he has experience of playing at the highest level.
Praised as ‘fantastic’ by goalkeeping legend Gianluigi Buffon, Rabiot has attracted the interest of Europe’s elite this summer and would be a solid addition to Solskjaer’s squad.
Linked with several of the Premier League’s leading sides following an impressive first season at Leicester, England U21 international Maddison would help fill the creative void left by Pogba’s departure.
No player in Europe’s top five leagues created more chances last season than the 22-year-old, who scored seven goals and provided a further seven assists for Brendan Rodgers’ side.
?| James Maddison had a big first season in the Premier league, he was the only player to create 100 chances across the season. He finished with 7 goals and 7 assists but could he achieve more at a bigger club❓
There are links with him going to Manchester United and Liverpool pic.twitter.com/iyxX5ANbZe
— StatHouse (@stat_house) June 12, 2019
Technically superb and a fine set-piece taker, Maddison has room to develop further and would add to the home-grown base Solskjaer is looking to build at Old Trafford.
Comfortable as a number 10, the playmaker also showed his ability to play in a slightly deeper role following Leicester’s January signing of Youri Tielemans and would likely cost in the region of £60m.
— Football Faithful (@FootyFaithful_) May 23, 2019