Former Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves believes the club should target Jadon Sancho and Declan Rice in the transfer market.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer spent around £150m last summer to sign the likes of Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James but United offloaded Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez, Ander Herrera and Antonio Valencia.
The Red Devils kicked off their Europa League campaign on Thursday with a 1-0 win against Astana thanks to Mason Greenwood’s first goal for the club.
And, speaking after the match, Hargreaves defended the progress Solskjaer has made at Old Trafford and says Sancho and Rice would speed up the club’s development.
‘It takes time with young players you never know sometimes what you’re going to get,’ said Hargreaves.
‘Can United ‘out football’ Liverpool and City? No. United’s two wins in the Premier League this season against Chelsea and Leicester have been when they’ve counter attacked.
‘Ultimately you’ve got to find a way to win games. I think the next phase is getting players that can make the difference. I think Declan Rice at the base of the midfield in this team makes a difference. I think Jadon Sancho would be a perfect player for this team and they need a no.9 whoever that may be.
‘It’s a work in progress and it’s going to take time but at some point they’re going to have to invest. Eventually you have to buy.
‘Declan Rice fits in here – whether it’s £50m, £60m – he fits in here. He fits the model of being young and British. Sancho is nailed on for this team even if you pay £120m for him he’s there for the next decade. You almost can’t overpay on a player like Sancho.’
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United’s interest in Sancho extends back to last January when Metro.co.uk exclusively revealed the club’s plans to sign the Dortmund forward.
The club’s failure to qualify for the Champions League scuppered their chances but Solskjaer expects to revive a move next summer.
Rice is also of interest but United believe his development would be helped by a further season at West Ham.