Ruben Dias Manchester City Anthony Martial Manchester United GFXGetty Images

Hargreaves: Man Utd need a Ruben Dias to challenge for Premier League title

Champions League winner Owen Hargreaves believes Manchester United would be better off spending their summer transfer budget on a quality centre-back instead of blowing a large chunk of it on Harry Kane. 

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is hoping to add up to three new players to his squad in the transfer window, with a right winger, a centre-back and a central midfielder all priorities. 

But with Tottenham striker Kane looking like he might be available, and with United long-term admirers of the England captain, there could be a temptation to make a move for the 27-year-old.

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Hargreaves, however, believes that money would be better off spent elsewhere. 

“United could win the Europa League but the goal is to win the Premier League and the Champions League and to do that they need investment, the right recruitment, key players in certain positions,” Hargreaves told Goal ahead of the Europa League final on Wednesday night between the English record champions and Villarreal.

“If you look at the squad Man City has, with the utmost respect to everyone else, that’s the best team in the country. They’ve got a coach that’s super innovative but the depth of players they have, I don’t think anyone in the country can compete. 

“So for United to compete they’re going to have to invest heavily and back Ole, because Ole has got them in a position where they’re within striking distance and I think that’s good. A lot of teams sign good players but they’re not difference makers. 

Hargreaves on SolskjaerGetty Goal

“I like Lindelof, I think he’s a really good player, but I think you’ve seen the impact [Ruben] Dias has had at Man City and the impact [Virgil] Van Dijk had [at Liverpool] and it might take getting one of those guys in to help Man Utd take the next step. 

“It costs a lot of money but United need a centre-back, a right winger and probably a defensive midfield player.” 

Solskjaer has refused to rule out signing a striker despite Edinson Cavani agreeing a contract extension to keep him at the club for another season and with Kane itching for a move away from Spurs, it could open up the door for a move to Old Trafford. 

“I’m sure everyone would love Harry Kane but that’s going to cost a lot of money, so you potentially could get two or three players for maybe one of those types of players,” BT Sport pundit Hargreaves said. 

“City are great examples of buying players to spread the wealth around. There’s probably six guys getting 10 goals and assists so rather than just having one guy that gets you 30 goals it might not be bad having four, five or six that can contribute and make you unpredictable.” 

While Hargreaves believes United need a Ruben Dias-esque signing to partner Harry Maguire it looks likely Solskjaer will be without his club captain for the Europa League final in Gdansk next week.

Owen Hargreaves Harry Kane Manchester United quote GFXGetty Images

The England international damaged ligaments in his ankle against Aston Villa and, although he’s off crutches, Solskjaer thinks it will be too soon to get him back for Wednesday’s game. Should he miss out, it’s an opportune moment for another player to make a name for themselves. 

“Defensively they can get tighter," said Hargreaves, who won the 2008 Champions League with United. "I like [Axel] Tuanzebe. I think he has the potential to be something really great but he’s had some injuries. 

“I got my big break in the semi-final as a young kid against Real Madrid. So maybe someone’s going to get a big break in the final - and if you get an audition and if it goes great, that’s you set.

“If Harry can’t play it’s a huge blow but maybe this is a moment for Tuanzebe to have another one of those moments where he blows everyone away.”

BT Sport will show Manchester United vs Villarreal in the UEFA Europa League final live from 6:30pm on Wednesday, May 26. Whoever you watch the final with, watch it together with BT.  For more info go to