Man United’s plan to close gap on Liverpool & Man City
A few days ago we reported on Chelsea’s 3-year plan to overtake Liverpool and Man City in the Premier League.
That plan, as revealed by the Athletic’s David Ornstein, is:
Year one: Stabilise and forge a cohesive unit with a young squad.
Year two: Challenge for honours.
Year three: Win those major honours.
Of course, Chelsea have already made some significant moves to boost their squad for next season.
Hakim Ziyech is in the bag, as is Timo Werner. While the Blues are now concentrating on signing Leicester’s Ben Chilwell and Kai Havertz from Bayer Leverkusen.
But Chelsea aren’t the only Premier League side looking to win the title once again: Man United are making similar plans, report ESPN.
According to reporter Mark Odgen, United are plotting their strategy to close the gap on Liverpool and Man City this summer too.
Chelsea and Man United have chance to take short cut to closing gap on top two this summer https://t.co/UwlvkslqSC
— Mark Ogden (@MarkOgden_) June 9, 2020
Man United’s gameplan: Spend, spend, spend
Cutting to the chase, ESPN believe Man United hope to narrow the gap on Liverpool and City through additions in the transfer market:
United have money to spend this summer and have deep pockets.
Despite announcing last month that the club’s net debt now stands at £429.1m, they are also operating with cash reserves of £90.3m, so United are well placed to take advantage of a market that will inevitably see transfer fees plummet in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.
A word on Liverpool’s finances.
Following Jurgen Klopp’s admission that Liverpool pulled out of the Timo Werner deal for financial concerns, the Athletic’s Liverpool podcast, The Red Agenda, have confirmed that there’s likely to be few additions at Anfield before the start of next season.
Athletic reporter James Pearce has said:
In terms of tweaks to the squad this summer, it’s going to be minor.
Man City, meanwhile, might not have the same financial constraints as Liverpool, however they are facing their own significant problems following their 2-year UEFA ban for breaching FFP rules.
“They’re potentially losing hundreds of millions over the course of the ban.”
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) June 8, 2020
Jadon Sancho, Jude Bellingham & Donny van de Beek
When it comes to possible Man United signings this summer, ESPN note that Jadon Sancho, Jude Bellingham and Donny van de Beek are all targets:
Sources have told ESPN that United are front-runners to sign Borussia Dortmund forward Jadon Sancho and are also leading the pack in the race for 16-year-old Birmingham City midfielder Jude Bellingham.
With Paul Pogba increasingly unlikely to get a move away this summer and Ajax’s Donny van de Beek another possible arrival, Solskjaer could have formidable midfield options at his disposal next season.
Man United friendly scrapped as Stoke manager Michael O’Neill tests positive for Covid
Manchester United have been dealt at Covid-19 scare after a friendly against Championship side Stoke City needed to be called off at the last minute after Potters manager Michael O’Neill tested positive for Covid-19.
United had lined up a game against Stoke as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team prepare to return to Premier League action.
The Red Devils take on Tottenham on Friday, June 19.
Stoke City have issued the following statement:
Stoke City can confirm that manager Michael O’Neill has tested positive for the Covid-19 virus following the latest round of testing on Monday (June 8).
O’Neill had tested negative in the previous five rounds of testing.
He will now follow the relevant guidance and undergo a period of isolation, whilst continuing to be in regular virtual contact with his coaching staff and players.
Assistant manager Billy McKinlay will take charge of training as the Potters prepare for their game against Reading on June 20.
Club statement: Michael O’Neill#SCFC 🔴⚪️
— S t o k e C i t y F C (@stokecity) June 9, 2020
The BBC have confirmed that the Man United vs Stoke game was called off “at the last minute”.
Stoke had “already travelled to United’s Carrington training ground before the match was hastily called off.”
However, the good news for Man United is that none of their players came into contact with any players from Stoke.
Meanwhile, Stoke City will now be concerned for the health of their manager, and fearful that the virus could have been transmitted to other members of their squad.
Michael O’Neill, who is the former Northern Ireland manager, is 50-years-old.
This article was edited by Benjamin Newman.