News Live Scores

Solskjaer sees two transfer priorities picked out as Man Utd prepare for big summer spend

18:35 GMT+4 28/03/2019
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Manchester United
Gary Neville believes money will be made available in the next window and feels a new centre-half and another full-back should top the shopping list

Manchester United should be prioritising defensive additions under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, says Gary Neville, with a new centre-half and another right-back needing to form part of a big summer spend.

The Red Devils have addressed one issue off the field, with a manager who has been working on an interim agreement now tied to a three-year contract.

Neville is among those to have welcomed that decision but has also been quick to point out that the United board now need to match the ambition of the man at the helm with transfer funds.

Money is expected to be made available, with Solskjaer advised to start at the back and work through a squad that requires additions in order to keep everyone on their toes and avoid a repeat of the regression that Jose Mourinho endured towards the end of his reign.

Neville told Sky Sports: “Defence is the main priority in terms of getting the centre-back pairings right because there have been so many changes. I think the defence is actually doing very well, it looks makeshift on paper but it outpunches its weight when you think about it.

“Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young have been doing brilliantly well at right and left-back for a few years, Luke Shaw has started to perform really well in the last few months. Victor Lindelof has had a good season, Chris Smalling's doing well but in terms of that dominant presence, that is probably the key thing. A full-back and a centre-back in there, although there are other areas of the team.

“Solskajer does need the right support around him now and that was something I said a few months ago. The structures and the quality of the people around him to ensure Manchester United get ahead of the game in recruitment is critical. Solskjaer is not going to be a success at Man United unless he gets the right people around him on recruitment and gets the right players in. That is absolutely essential.

“And the amount of money Man United will spend will be big, but over the last few years, the club haven't fallen short and have always supported the managers. I don't think the club will fall short in financial terms, they will spend the money.

“It is in the back of my mind that the players have been fantastic in these last few months for Ole, but they are the same players that downed tools under Jose Mourinho and I'm conscious in my mind that the players need to maintain that same level of concentration, determination and attitude now that Ole has been made the permanent manager.

“That is the critical thing - getting the signings right, getting the people around Ole right and making sure that the players, although the performances have improved, can continue to maintain the levels they've been at over the last three months and don't dip back to where they were before.”

United’s focus at present is being maintained by a top-four challenge in the Premier League and a run through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League, where they are due to face Barcelona.