Man Utd's dream XI: How the Red Devils wanted to line up this season

Martin Macdonald
Moyes: No contact from Chelsea or Man Utd to sign Rice

Manchester United enjoyed probably the most impressive transfer window since the days of Sir Alex Ferguson in 2021

After finishing second in the Premier League to Manchester City in 2020/21, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer recognised the need for top quality reinforcements.

Firstly, Jadon Sancho finally completed his expected move to Old Trafford after Man Utd paid Borussia Dortmund £73 million for his services.

The club had been chasing the England international for over a year, and finally secured him as their number one target.

Then, the defence was given attention as multiple Champions League winner and World Cup winner Raphael Varane arrived for a fee of around £35m - a fee that has been viewed as a steal.

With Edinson Cavani signing a new deal until next summer, a new centre forward was not expected, but when the opportunity to sign Cristiano Ronaldo came up, the club apparently jumped at the chance.

The Portuguese superstar was reportedly on the cusp of a move to Manchester City, but only a few hours later he was confirmed as a Man Utd player, with the club reportedly keen to avoid the public relations faux pas of having one of their greatest and most iconic players turn out in the sky blue of their city rivals.

Thus, Man Utd have added Ronaldo to an already star-studded attack.

Unfortunately for Solskjaer, there have been a couple of issues that haven't been addressed.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka will continue as the number one right-back, but competition was desired for this role, ideally with someone better going forward.

Atletico Madrid's Kieran Trippier was targeted, but Man Utd attempted to lowball Los Colchoneros into selling.

The Spanish club continually pointed to his €60m release clause, which Man Utd never came close to.

There is no doubt that they are also light in quality in midfield, as displayed by their abject performance against Southampton in which Nemanja Matic and Fred were uninspiring to say the least.

Declan Rice was the number one midfield target, but West Ham are unlikely to accept any less than £80m, which United refused to pay this summer.

Man Utd's wishlist XI

Manchester United wishlist XI

David de Gea will start in goal with Dean Henderson in reserve.

Trippier would have likely been first choice if signed, alongside Varane, Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw in defence.

Rice would have partnered Paul Pogba in the middle of the pitch. The World Cup winner has been used on the left so far this season, but after the addition of Ronaldo, and with Marcus Rashford to return, his future lies deeper.

Big money signing Sancho would have started on the right, with Bruno Fernandes in the middle and Rashford on the left.

Cavani or Greenwood would have been the main man up top if not for the addition of Ronaldo.