Branthwaite and Neves sign, Sesko transfer, Rashford call - Manchester United's dream 25-man squad

Joao Neves of Portugal is playing during the international friendly match between Portugal and Finland at Jose Alvalade Stadium in Lisbon, Portugal, on June 4, 2024.
-Credit: (Image: (Photo by Jose Manuel Alvarez Rey/NurPhoto via Getty Images))

Manchester United could be about to experience a huge summer of change both on the pitch and the touchline. Following on from Sir Jim Ratcliffe's minority purchase, a huge overhaul of United's background team has taken place with Omar Berrada and Jason Wilcox arriving and Dan Ashworth likely to follow.

With significant changes already being made, the next one could be to do with manager Erik ten Hag. Ahead of the FA Cup final against Manchester City the expectation was that he would be sacked, but following the triumph over the club's bitter rivals, a final decision is yet to be made.

Thomas Tuchel has held talks with INEOS chiefs but the former Chelsea boss will not replace Ten Hag if he does depart. Mauricio Pochettino is another manager formerly of Chelsea unlikely to take over with Roberto De Zerbi and Gareth Southgate two names left in the hat.

READ MORE: Manchester United transfer news live Erik ten Hag latest as Dan Ashworth targets 'yes' manager

READ MORE: Ineos are making it easier to predict who they want Manchester United's next manager to be

Away from the managerial circus that has elapsed over the last few weeks, a major squad overhaul looks likely to take place with Raphael Varane already confirming his exit. Among those to potentially join him are Marcus Rashford, Harry Maguire, Scott McTominay and even club captain Bruno Fernandes, though it would require a significant offer for the latter to be sold.

In terms of incomings, United have been linked to a whole host of players with Everton's Jarrad Branthwaite and Benfica midfielder Joao Neves two priority targets at Old Trafford. With that in mind, MEN Sport has taken a look at what United's 'dream' 25-man squad could look like next season.

Goalkeepers: Onana, Bayindir, Heaton

Considering United signed both Andre Onana and Altay Bayindir last summer, it is unlikely much more movement takes place in between the sticks. Onana struggled to adapt to life in Manchester during the first few months of his tenure but he has improved significantly towards the end of the season.

There are still inconsistencies in his game but it is clear he will be United's No.1 choice for the next few seasons. While rarely called upon, Bayindir showed his quality at points with the majority of his first season at the club spent on the bench and under the wing of Tom Heaton.

United's third-choice shot-stopper was surprisingly called up to Gareth Southgate's England squad as a training goalkeeper for the European Championships. Despite United confirming in their retained list that Heaton was out of contract, talks are ongoing to agree an extension.

Defenders: Shaw, Martinez, Branthwaite, Maguire, Dalot, Kambwala, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Evans

Despite an expected rebuild in defence, United actually moving on those fringe players is another challenge. Jonny Evans has seen his short-term contract expire, but after impressing over the last few months, talks over an extension are set to take place.

Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Aaron Wan-Bissaka are all on the chopping block but are still important players for depth, with no clear option out there at a decent price to replace them. Luke Shaw and Lisandro Martinez are likely untouchable with Diogo Dalot also expected to stay after a great season.

A departure for Tyrell Malacia seems inevitable with Jarrad Branthwaite adding to the club's defensive ranks. Everton are demanding £75million for their homegrown starlet with United likely hoping they can raise funds through sales.

Midfielders: Neves, Mount, Fernandes, Mainoo, McTominay, Eriksen

Casemiro looks destined for an exit and Sofyan Amrabat does not appear to have done enough to make his loan move permanent. As such, United will need to welcome a midfielder this summer with Benfica's Joao Neves the perfect option.

Scott McTominay is another that can play in the role, alongside rising star Kobbie Mainoo, with Bruno Fernandes, Mason Mount and Christian Eriksen as the other players in the club's midfield ranks. United will undoubtedly be hoping that Mount can feel like a new signing after a challenging first season due to injuries.

Returning loanees Facundo Pellistri and Donny van de Beek look primed for an exit this summer with Hannibal also likely to join them.

Attackers: Sesko, Rashford, Garnacho, Amad, Antony, Hojlund, Forson

United have plenty of options in attack but bolstering those is still a clear priority. The departure of Anthony Martial leaves a space for a striker to be signed with Benjamin Sesko as the dream option. Amad and Alejandro Garnacho have shown great promise and will undoubtedly be key players for United going forward.

Rasmus Hojlund endured a mixed first season in Manchester but signs of his quality are clear and the hope will be he can build on that next season. Antony and Omari Forson will provide the depth for the Red Devils, though it is possible the former does not accept a limited squad role.

In terms of the other forwards in the club's books, Mason Greenwood is expected to seal a permanent departure after a successful loan spell at Getafe. Out-of-favour winger Jadon Sancho is another likely to be moved on after seeing his stock rise back at Borussia Dortmund.