Ole Gunnar Solskjaer did his best last season to be polite and he attempted to stick by his defenders, but they lost out on silverware several times due to leaking some goals at the back.
Luke Shaw and Aaron Wan-Bissaka had strong seasons and Harry Maguire is never going to be dropped due to his captaincy, so it means the one position that can be improved is the centre-back slot next to him.
There are several good defenders at the club but they aren’t quite in the “great” category, and it means they all have at least one glaring flaw that prevents the defence looking like a solid unit.
Victor Lindelof is too timid and can be bullied by a physical forward, Eric Bailly does have the physical attributes and tenacity to make himself a solid partner for Maguire, but he’s too rash and over-pursues the ball which leaves larger gaps, Axel Tuanzebe doesn’t have the manager’s trust and even if Phil Jones could get fit, he would still be Phil Jones.
There’s been plenty of talk about Real Madrid star Raphael Varane arriving in the summer window, and the latest reports from Spain actually state that it’s going to happen:
?? INFORMA @cjbustillo ?
"VARANE se va a marchar al MANCHESTER UNITED"
"No está por la labor de renovar"
"La agencia que representa al francés ya está en negociaciones con el United"
"La oferta del United llegará en los próximos días"
— El Transistor (@ElTransistorOC) July 14, 2021
The tweet above seems to quote journalist Carlos Bustillo as stating that “he’s going to Manchester United”, while any hope of a new contract is gone, so Real do need to sell him this summer to avoid the prospect of losing him for nothing.
These rumours have been around for weeks now so there’s clearly something to it, and it’s claimed that there could be some movement in the next few days when United’s offer officially comes in.