Neville picks out transfer target areas

Saturday 11 June 2022 12:00

Gary Neville has identified the areas of the squad he thinks Manchester United should be looking to add to in the summer transfer window.

After the disappointing 2021/22 campaign, there is optimism ahead of Erik ten Hag’s first term in charge but plenty of work to do ahead of Tour 2022, when United face games in Thailand and Australia, before returning to Europe for a clash with Atletico Madrid in Oslo.

It has already been confirmed that five first-team players will leave the club on free transfers this summer, with Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata and Paul Pogba joining Edinson Cavani and Nemanja Matic in departing at the end of June.

That leaves some gaps in the squad to fill, Neville feels, although he acknowledges that Ten Hag will want to get a handle on what he’s working with first, when he gets down to work at Carrington later this month.

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“I think, to be honest with you, I don’t know which area needs strengthening fully until we know which players the new manager likes,” the former United and England defender said.

With Pogba and Matic leaving, the Reds have Fred and Scott McTominay as senior midfielders and, although James Garner impressed on loan at Nottingham Forest, reinforcements in the middle of the park are required, for Neville.

He also wants to see the goalscoring burden on Cristiano Ronaldo reduced, plus further options introduced out wide.

“We know the areas they absolutely need to actually strengthen,” he added. “Central midfield is an absolute necessity. An absolute necessity. Manchester United need midfield players.

“They also need a centre-forward. I know Cristiano Ronaldo is likely to stay and he’s an absolutely brilliant performer, but they need a centre-forward. Centre-forward is a must.

“I think there’ll need to be a wide player, just to beef up the squad, and I think full-backs are absolutely critical in the modern game.

“[There are] four full-backs there, it’ll be interesting to see which two, three or four of those are liked.”