Cristiano Ronaldo: All you need to know about Man Utd-linked star
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Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is preparing to abandon his tried-and-tested partnership of Scott McTominay and Fred as he looks to implement a more attacking system next season. The Red Devils used the 4-2-3-1 formation for much of last campaign, with Fred and McTominay as defensive midfielders, but Solskjaer is now considering a switch to 4-3-3.
Looking to place an emphasis on attacking football, ESPN report that the United boss has informed his players of this expected change as he opts for a fresh approach in midfield.
The report adds that recruiting a new centre-back is key to this new idea, with Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane currently high on the club’s wish list.
Solskjaer paired Fred and McTominay together in midfield 28 times last season, but his new system would him to include Paul Pogba or Donny van de Beek alongside Bruno Fernandes on a more consistent basis.
Fernandes is likely to be one of the first names on the teamsheet for the Red Devils next season, though the inclusions of Pogba and Van de Beek are not as guaranteed.
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Pogba has been strongly linked with an exit from the club in recent months and is yet to agree fresh terms on a new contract, which is set to expire next summer.
Van de Beek, meanwhile, has endured a tough start to life as a United player and barely featured during his debut campaign at Old Trafford.
Although boasting a strong set of results in matches involving the top six last season, the Red Devils were criticised for their tendency to drop points against the lesser lights of the division.
Many supporters are of the view that the combination of Fred and McTominay proved ineffective against sides that United struggled to break down, with the pair offering little creativity when attempting to cut through defences.
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United missed out on the Premier League title last season by 12 points in the end, with rivals Manchester City easing their way to top spot.
The Red Devils were seen as the nearest challengers to Pep Guardiola’s side for the title, but United struggled to keep pace with the Sky Blues at the turn of the year.
Towards the end of last season, Solskjaer admitted that his side were hungry to go toe-to-toe with City in the 2021/22 campaign but recognised that summer signings would be required in order to do so.
“If we want to take up the challenge with them, we need to strengthen our squad,” said the United boss.
“We want to take the next step [to bridge the gap to City] and it might be that we need a couple more to strengthen the squad.”
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