MANCHESTER UNITED are desperate to sign Jack Grealish this summer.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is keen to add the Aston Villa star to his burgeoning attacking ranks this summer – even if it costs £80million.
Man Utd are confident in signing Jack Grealish this summer[/caption]
Grealish’s arrival could have repercussions for Fernandes and Pogba[/caption]
Villa, in turn, are set to offer their captain a bumper £100,000 a week deal in a bid to keep him at the club.
But it’s looking more and more likely United land both Grealish AND Jadon Sancho this month, even if it means selling some deadwood to fund the near-£200m double swoop.
However, the arrival of the English pair will disrupt the status quo, with Solskjaer starting the same XI over and over again in the Premier League, to great effect, after the 2019-20 restart.
Grealish and Sancho arriving could mean Bruno Fernandes being shifted, with Paul Pogba and Mason Greenwood dropped to the bench.
We take a look at FIVE different ways Man Utd could line up if they sign Grealish and Sancho…
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THIS is the tried-and-tested formation of late under Solskjaer – and it’s clearly worked after Man Utd secured a top-four spot.
In this scenario, United would run their familiar back-four – with Dean Henderson almost certain to start ahead of blunder-prone David De Gea next season.
Henderson spent the season on loan at Sheffield United and has now demanded Solskjaer make him No1 or he’ll quit to join Chelsea.
It’s very possible Solskjaer looks to sell De Gea this summer, install Henderson as first-choice and keep Sergio Romero as his cup goalkeeper.
In midfield, Fernandes would take over Pogba’s deeper role – with a defensive-minded partner a must.
Nemanja Matic performed well alongside Pogba, but looking to the future, Solskjaer is likely to start Scott McTominay.
That would allow Grealish to roam freely in his preferred No10 spot, with Sancho on the right.
Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial would complete the forward ranks, seamlessly interchanging between the left-wing and centre-forward positions.
Unfortunately, should Grealish and Sancho arrive, Mason Greenwood is likely to return to his bench role despite his phenomenal 2020.
A POPULAR choice in world football at present, Premier League champions Liverpool and former winners Manchester City favour the 4-3-3.
And it could perfectly for Man Utd in their potential new era.
In this instance, Pogba would replace one of Rashford or Martial in the starting XI.
Pogba and Fernandes would be afforded the freedom to push forward, with McTominay sitting deeper.
Grealish would shift to left wing – where he’s spent most of the season at Aston Villa.
IT’S certainly from the old school of English football, but 4-4-2 could be just the ticket for Man Utd.
The personnel is identical to that seen in the 4-2-3-1, but set-up differently.
With the same back-four, Fernandes and McTominay would sit in the central two spots.
The Portuguese star would be able to push forward when the opportunity arises, with McTominay staying back.
But the forward ranks look different here, with Grealish and Sancho on the flanks and Rashford and Martial both starting as the centre-forwards.
DESPITE all the attacking shuffling to worry about, Solskjaer could also debate mixing up his defence.
A back-three-cum-back-five is becoming increasingly popular these days.
And with Solskjaer recently full of praise for the returning Chris Smalling, the ex-England ace could join Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof in the central back-three.
Solskjaer explained: “Chris has shown, over his career at Manchester United, how valuable he is for United.
“This season was about him being a regular and going to Roma, showing and proving how good a centre-back he is.
“I wanted to give [Maguire, Lindelof and Tuanzebe] a chance and so he found out that it was best for him to go to Roma to play for a year.
“Now he’s coming back. Chris has shown he will be valuable.
“I’ve been speaking to him throughout and been delighted with his season.”
With three central defenders and two wing-backs – in Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Brandon Williams – Pogba and Fernandes would be allowed to play together, without the presence of a defensive-minded midfielder.
Sancho and Grealish would take up advanced wing roles in this formation with one of Rashford, Martial or Greenwood starting through the middle.
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WITH the same back-three (or five) this formation sees a few tweaks further forward.
Should Solskjaer want to pack his midfield, an attacking trio of Grealish, Pogba and Fernandes could start in the middle.
They would be well protected by the wing-backs and back-three.
This formation would also allow for TWO central strikers, with Rashford and Martial the likeliest candidates.