Manchester United are reportedly confident of landing their transfer targets in the summer even if they end up missing out on Champions League football.
According to ESPN, Manchester United are convinced that their transfer plans will not be affected if they fail to secure qualification for the UEFA Champions League next season.
Manchester United currently find themselves embroiled in an intense battle for a top-four finish. The Red Devils are fourth in the Premier League table, four points behind third-placed Chelsea, who have a game in hand. The Mancunian giants have a four-point lead over West Ham United in fifth.
Arsenal are also four points below Manchester United, behind West Ham on goal difference, while Wolves and Tottenham Hotspur are not far behind either. And apart from West Ham, the other three teams have at least two games in hand over Ralf Rangnick’s side, making the race for the top-four very interesting.
With the business end fast approaching, Manchester United have not been performing at their best, which leaves the door open for their rivals to move past them in the standings. At the same time, their chances of winning the Champions League to seal an automatic berth in the next season’s edition seem extremely slim based on their performance against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday.
So, there is a very solid chance that Manchester United will end up missing out on Champions League football for next season. This scenario would potentially see them bid goodbye to club legend Cristiano Ronaldo. But the Red Devils are confident that their overall transfer plans will not be affected by failing to achieve a top-four finish in the Premier League.
The 20-time English champions are planning a big splurge in the summer and have identified several areas in the squad that need to be strengthened. A defensive midfielder is a top priority, with Declan Rice emerging as their preferred target.
Manchester United will also be needing a new top-quality striker with Edinson Cavani’s contract expiring and Ronaldo facing an uncertain future. Names like Harry Kane, Lautaro Martinez and Erling Haaland have been linked heavily with a move to Old Trafford as a result.
And officials within the club are convinced that even if they fail to secure Champions League football next season, it will not affect their pull in the transfer market. As evidence, the Red Devils are pointing towards the summer window of 2016, when they brought in the likes of Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic without UCL and went on to win the UEFA Europa League that season under Jose Mourinho.
Apart from new players, the summer will also see Manchester United bring in a new manager, with interim boss Ralf Rangnick set to move into a consulting role. Whoever comes in would also have a say on the transfer targets. But the club are certain that they will not have to alter plans if they miss out on the Champions League.