How to fix Manchester United: sack Marcus Rashford, sign a striker, replace Luke Shaw, sell Harry Maguire and start fast


Erik ten Hag is here to stay. What you do in the coming months will determine how long it lasts.

The Dutchman achieved his status as manchester united coach to a victory in the FA Cup final against Manchester City on May 25 and, despite the club holding talks with other managers, they decided there was no one better.


Ten Hag is here to stay and can build around a young and exciting team.Credit: Getty

By “the club” we mean new co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who is in charge of football affairs and who is now preparing for his first real change window in Manchester.

A deal to buy his minority stake in the club was completed in December, but this summer transfer window presents his first opportunity to restructure a team that desperately needs help.

Despite United's FA Cup glory, they disguised their worst Premier League finish of eighth during a campaign that saw thrashings by Crystal Palace, Newcastle and even Bourenmouth.

It means Ten Hag, who is yet to agree the terms of a new deal, has his work cut out for him, as does Ratcliffe.

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This won't just be a summer to sign some big names and start over; The squad, like the club and the stadium, needs repair.

talkSPORT chief football correspondent Alex Crook gives us five areas that need to be fixed if the 2024/25 season is to be one that United fans remember for the right reasons.

Get Marcus Rashford shooting again

“Rashford had a brilliant season a couple of years ago: 30 goals in all competitions. He looked like he was really thriving under the tutelage of Ten Hag and forwards coach Benni McCarthy.

“That form absolutely fell off a cliff last season. It was terrible. Body language was poor. There was very little production in terms of goals or assists. And in the end, it was harder to defend the idea of ​​keeping Rashford in the team and leaving him. And of course, he paid the price by not being named in Gareth Southgate's team to make the trip here to Germany.

“There is some interest from Paris Saint-Germain, but the signs from Rashford's camp are that he wants to stay at United, rebuild his somewhat fractured relationship with Ten Hag and return to his best form. If he can do that, then Rashford and United could be a force again in the Premier League and in Europe next season, where of course they are in the Europa League, having won the FA Cup final against the Manchester City in May. .”

Rashford seemed to be reborn with Ten Hag in the 2022/23 season, but the 2023/24 season was one to forget


Rashford seemed to be reborn with Ten Hag in the 2022/23 season, but the 2023/24 season was one to forget

Lose dead wood

“There are a lot of players on this team that I think Ten Hag would like to leave behind. Harry Maguire He almost left to join West Ham last summer. He had a good season, but I don't think the English defender is good enough to take United to where he wants to be in the top four and maybe even push champions Manchester City for the Premier League title.

“The same can be said of casemiroHe had an excellent first season at United and looked like the transformative midfield signing the club had been crying out for, but his legs have clearly failed him at the top level. Jamie Carragher has alluded to. There is interest from Saudi Arabia. I'm not sure he's totally sold on joining the Saudi Pro League, but United need to get rid of him and they also need decent money to rebuild the team.

“I would let other players go, Victor Lindelof Again, not good enough for where Manchester United want to be. Mason Greenwood“For reasons unrelated to football I think he will leave the club. There is interest from Italy, Germany, Spain and Portugal. The sooner United close that deal, and if they can get the £40 million they want, they can reinvest it in the team .

“AND Jadon SanchoMany non-United fans praised his performances for Borussia Dortmund on their way to the Champions League final, but his attitude, his dedication and indeed his skill set, for me, are not good enough to be a Manchester United player. So if they can take advantage of it, I would too.”

Carragher's destruction of Casemiro after the 4-0 defeat to Palace was headline news around the world


Carragher's destruction of Casemiro following the 4-0 defeat to Palace was front-page news around the world.


“There are some key areas that need surgery this summer, especially in the heart of the defence. Rafael Varane has left the football club after failing to agree the terms of a new contract. He was never really in shape anyway.

“Lisandro Martínez missed more football than he played last season. If they can get him up to speed and he needs a solid partner alongside him, that could be the foundation of a very good Manchester United.

“We know they are interested in Jarrad Branthwaite from Everton. I don't think they're going to pay the money they want, so they look elsewhere. Keep an eye on Jean-Clair Todibo. He plays for Sir Jim RatcliffeThe other club in France, Nice. That could cause problems, because at the moment, UEFA is blocking United from signing players under the Ratcliffe umbrella and United could well challenge that legally. If they do, then Todibo could head to Old Trafford.

“They also like Leny Yoro, a young defender from Lille, but they are interested in competing with them from Real Madrid and Liverpool.

“I don't think it's just the central defense that needs work. Luke ShawWe've talked a lot about him while we were here in Germany, in his battle to be fit for England, he also missed a lot of football with Manchester United last season. In fact, he has only averaged about 18 games per season for United since he arrived from Southampton. Clearly there is a problem.

“I think they should consider the possibility of adding a left back. Milos Kerkez of Bournemouth; I know that he is a player who has a very high opinion of him and I think he would be an excellent signing. But I repeat, he will not be cheap. Then you look at the top end of the field. Anthony Martial has finally left the football club. His salary is no longer the burden he has been for the past few seasons.

“That really leaves Rasmus Hojlund as an absolute forward and needs a little support. He scored 16 goals in all competitions last season but also struggled at times. They have been offered Jonathan David at Lille, which could be a bargain signing. He is available for around 30 million euros. He averages a goal every two games in the French league.

“Another one to keep an eye on is Joshua Zirkzee, the surprise of Serie A. He's here in Germany as part of the Dutch team and hasn't played much so far, but it's a deal that could very well happen. And of course, Also in midfield, if they lose Casemiro, I think they need someone else in that position. At the moment, the names don't exactly jump off the page, but I'm sure it's an area where United will look to strengthen. .

United's priorities are forward and defence


United's priorities are forward and defense

Make a good start

“It is vital that United get off to a good start. They put their faith in Erik ten Hag even though they flirted with the possibility of hiring people like Thomas Tuchel, Mauricio Pochettino, Roberto De ZerbiThomas Frank and even Fulham's Marco Silva, which would have been a slightly baffling appointment.

“Ten Hag stays. I understand that contract negotiations are going well and he is likely to sign a two-year contract extension. That will give him the power he needs in what is a rebellious locker room.

“They really need to show that the victory against Manchester City in the FA Cup final was not an isolated event. They need to take advantage of that momentum. They have Fulham at home on the opening night of the season, live on talkSPORT, that Friday night. That should be a perfect opportunity to get off to a winning start.

“There are a couple of difficult away games in the first few games. Last season they didn't have any momentum. They were absolutely abysmal in the opening day win against Wolves, were lucky to get that 1-0 win, and never really improved from there, so I think they need a good pre-season.

“They need to keep their players fit and if they start well, who knows what Manchester United can achieve with Ten Hag.”

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