Man United start pre-season with Mount ready, Onana almost signed – but new striker needed
Manchester United will commence their preparations for the new campaign today when they face rivals Leeds in a pre-season friendly in Oslo.
The Red Devils have entered the summer off the back of a successful first season under Erik ten Hag.
Having won the Carabao Cup and sealed a return to the Champions League, all signs point in the right direction for United.
Performances have vastly improved but the next step is to try and close the gap on their dominant, noisy neighbours Manchester City.
With the new Premier League campaign set to kick-off in just over a month, fans will be excited to see their stars return to action.
United haven’t been shy to strengthen in the market either as they continue to eye a return to the top of English football.
Mason Mount has so far arrived as their only senior signing of the summer so far, joining from Chelsea in a potential £60million deal.
The 24-year-old adds more quality and depth to Ten Hag’s midfield and boasts 51 goal contributions in 129 Premier League appearances.
Now that Mount has arrived, United’s next port of call is to bring in a new goalkeeper following the departure of David de Gea.
talkSPORT understands the Premier League giants expect to tie up the £45million signing of Inter Milan’s Andre Onana this week.
Ten Hag is keen for the 27-year-old, who played in last season’s Champions League final, to join them on their pre-season tour.
Whilst Mount strengthens the squad and Onana will do the same, United’s sole focus for the rest of the window will be on a new striker.
Even Ten Hag recognises how important it is, saying in April: “I think everyone knows, it’s not a secret that we in the long term and over the whole season have a shortage of number nines.
“Because first we had the drop-out of [Cristiano] Ronaldo, then Anthony Martial was often not available, Jadon Sancho was often not available. Then you have a shortage of front-line players.
“With less players we have to cover many games. Definitely in the front line we need players who strengthen the squad.
“You can approach it in many ways. A typical number nine, [or] Rashford can also play very good as a number nine. Anthony Martial is a great number nine.
“So we have players who can play in that role, but definitely we need some offensive players who are really impact players, quality players who improve the front line.”
Anthony Martial and Wout Weghorst were their main options up front last season, with Marcus Rashford sometimes leading the line.
However, the aforementioned duo scored just 11 goals between them and with Weghorst now gone, a replacement is needed.
Napoli star Victor Osimhen was heavily linked earlier in the window but United would beed to pay in excess of £150million for him.
Harry Kane was also a speculated name, but Atalanta’s Rasmus Hojlund has emerged as their latest target for this summer.
With a new striker, United will strengthen their chances of another solid campaign, one that will follow eight pre-season fixtures.
Arsenal, Wrexham and Real Madrid are just three of their upcoming opponents, but Leeds provide their first test.
Man United confirmed their 26-man squad for the clash, with newcomer Mount joining alongside stars Lisandro Martinez and Jadon Sancho.
The hard work will now kick in ahead of the new Premier League season, which they open at home against Wolves on August 14.