Manchester United's dream squad for next season with five new signings

Jeremie Frimpong is pictured on the left while the right shows a hint of a possible Manchester United XI, featuring Jarrad Branthwaite.
Bayer Leverkusen's Jeremie Frimpong (left) is on Manchester United's radar. -Credit:Getty Images and LineUp Builder.

The end of this season cannot come soon enough for Manchester United.

With a maximum of eight games left to play, only winning the FA Cup will save what has otherwise been a season to forget. United have lost 12 times in the Premier League and have four points fewer than what they had after 32 games under David Moyes in 2013/14.

Regardless of what happens with Erik ten Hag's future, it is no secret that big changes need to be made to the landscape of the squad. As revealed by the Manchester Evening News in February, a record number of sales are planned, meaning exits could reach double figures.

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United invested more than £150million in three big-name signings last summer, drafting in Andre Onana, Mason Mount and Rasmus Hojlund, yet they are now further away from ending their Premier League title drought than they were at this point last year. Ineos plan to bring the good times back to M16, but to do that they need to improve United's hit rate when it comes to recruitment.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has already hinted that he wants to change United's outlook on the market. Therefore, what could United's ideal 25-man squad for the 2024/25 campaign look like? Analysing potential additions and outlining why certain members of the squad need offloading, we've taken a close look.

United invested big-money in Onana last summer and he has improved as this season has unfolded, meaning he will retain the gloves and continue as the club's No.1. Altay Bayindir is likely to be retained as their No.2, but uncertainty surrounds Tom Heaton's future as his contract expires at the end of this season.

Whatever happens with Raphael Varane's future, United need to add fresh blood at centre-back. Injuries have hampered Ten Hag's hopes of discovering any form consistency in the heart of the defence this term, with Lisandro Martinez enduring a nightmare campaign.

However, when fit, the Argentine is one of the very first names on the teamsheet, meaning he will continue to occupy the left-sided centre-back berth. Varane's fitness struggles mean United should refrain from offering him a new deal, opening up the door for a new addition to occupy the right-sided centre-back spot.

Jarrad Branthwaite of Everton and Bayer Leverkusen ace Edmond Tapsoba are on United's radar, while they have often been linked with OGC Nice ace Jean-Clair Todibo and Gleison Bremer of Juventus. Should any member of that aforementioned quartet be drafted in, likewise anyone else, Harry Maguire or Victor Lindelof will need offloading. Maguire has improved this season and may be retained over Lindelof, while Jonny Evans may bag a one-year extension to keep the centre-back department well-stocked.

Jarrad Branthwaite in action for Everton.
Jarrad Branthwaite is being monitored by Manchester United. -Credit:George Wood/Getty Images.

Diogo Dalot has enjoyed a successful campaign, meaning he is likely to be retained over Aaron Wan-Bissaka. The latter would command a respectable fee that can be reinvested and United are keeping tabs on Leverkusen ace Jeremie Frimpong. At left-back, however, United have a puzzle to solve after an injury-infested campaign in that area of the team, with Tyrell Malacia missing all of the campaign and Luke Shaw being absent for large chunks of it. A new left-back, in the end, may take priority over a new starting right-back.

If United strengthen any position this summer, it has to be defensive-midfield. Casemiro's sharp regression means they need to find a replacement as an overriding priority and Benfica's Joao Neves is being heavily linked with a move to M16. Casemiro has been a passenger in recent months and it is clear United need fresh legs to complement the qualities of Kobbie Mainoo and Bruno Fernandes, who will continue as first-choice options beyond the end of this season.

Casemiro, ideally, needs offloading, likewise Scott McTominay and Christian Eriksen. McTominay's nine-goal haul this season means he will command a sizeable transfer fee and every penny secured will be pure profit due to his status as an academy graduate. However, United may not be able to offload McTominay until they have found a suitable replacement.

Donny van de Beek also needs moving on, likewise Hannibal Mejbri, meaning United may explore the possibility of drafting in a new attacking-midfielder to support Fernandes. Leicester City ace Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall has been linked with the club recently.

Signing a striker also needs to be a leading objective. Anthony Martial's contract is not going to be renewed, meaning Hojlund needs a form of competition and support. A cluster of forwards have been linked with moves to Old Trafford, but many of those have been somewhat fanciful.

United need to strike the balance between signing someone who has potential to improve and can provide adequate competition but without paying over the odds. RB Leipzig's Benjamin Sesko, who was on the club's radar in 2022, is once again being linked with a move to M16.

A lot of uncertainty surrounds United's wide options, with both Marcus Rashford and Antony being linked with exits. The club, at this stage, is unlikely to dip into the market unless one or more of their current star wingers depart. The likes of Facundo Pellistri, Jadon Sancho and Mason Greenwood could all be offloaded permanently.

Goalkeepers: Onana, Bayindir, Heaton

Defenders: Dalot, Frimpong, Branthwaite, Martinez, Maguire, Kambwala*, Evans, Shaw, Malacia, Amass*

Midfielders: Neves*, Mainoo*, Fernandes, Dewsbury-Hall, McTominay, Mount, Gore*

Attackers: Garnacho*, Antony, Amad, Hojlund, Sesko, Wheatley*, Rashford

A graphic showing how Manchester United could possibly line-up next season. The XI is as follows:

GK: Onana
RB: Frimpong
CB: Branthwaite
CB: Martinez
LB: Shaw
CDM: Neves
CM: Mainoo
CM: Fernandes
RW: Garnacho
ST: Hojlund
LW: Rashford
Manchester United's squad could have a very different look to it next season. -Credit:LineUp Builder.

Sell: Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Fernandez, Eriksen, Casemiro, Hannibal, Van de Beek, Sancho, Pellistri, Greenwood

Release: Varane, Williams, Forson (if new deal is not agreed), Martial

*Denotes player will be under the age of 21 at the start of next season and does not have to be included on the Premier League squad list.

Under the Premier League squad rules, players under the age of 21 do not have to be included within the main 25-man squad, allowing more freedom for clubs to beef up their ranks with players over that threshold. Interestingly, United only named 21 senior players when they gave their squad to the Premier League in January, with a number of youngsters bolstering the ranks.