Manchester United‘s hierarchy believe they will be able to sign the likes of Declan Rice or Harry Kane in the summer regardless of whether or not they manage to qualify for next season’s Champions League, according to reports. The Red Devils appear to be facing a tricky battle to make the Premier League’s top four ahead of the summer after enduring a turbulent campaign on all fronts to date.
United have struggled on plenty of occasions since the beginning of the season in spite of the summer arrivals of Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane.
The former has recently been linked with a surprise move away from Old Trafford if United fail to book their place in Europe’s premier club competition ahead of the upcoming campaign.
Ronaldo believes he is more than capable of playing for a Champions League club and would not expect to remain with the Red Devils if they are unable to qualify, according to The Mirror.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s stance on the matter would suggest that United may struggle to attract the game’s biggest talents without the promise of Champions League football in the summer transfer window.
However, it seems as though club bosses are not prepared to rip up their plans for the market if they end up finishing outside the Premier League’s top four this season.
United remain hopeful of landing their top targets in spite of what happens between now and the end of the campaign, according to ESPN.
Rice and Kane, who are said to be two of the names on United’s shortlist, have both underlined their shared desire to play in the Champions League on a handful of occasions over the last few years.
That said, United chiefs are believed to be adamant they will remain in a position to pull off marquee signings even if they fail to qualify for next season’s tournament.
The club-record signing of Paul Pogba ahead of a season in the Europa League back in 2016 is said to have given them hope that similar moves could be engineered if they end up missing out on a top-four finish.
United have already started the process of appointing a new permanent manager and the club are keen to back their new man during his first season in charge.
The successful candidate is reportedly expected to play a part in United’s summer recruitment drive regardless of whether or not they are forced to settle for a place in the Europa League.
Their new manager is also set to have a say on the futures of a number of key players, with the likes of Ronaldo, David de Gea and Marcus Rashford only under contract until the end of next season.
Meanwhile, it remains to be seen whether United’s plans will eventually be thwarted if they fail to keep their place in the Champions League ahead of the new campaign.
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Michael Owen recently suggested that United will have every chance of sealing a fourth-placed finish if they manage to register one or two victories against stronger teams over the coming months.
“When you break it down a little bit more in depth, they’ve had a really friendly run of games,” Owen told Premier League Productions.
“There will be acid tests ahead against some of the big boys. I thought West Ham were going to give them a big challenge, they did and they’ll be very frustrated that they didn’t take anything out of the game.
“But, as they say, results are the most important thing and that keeps them in there in the hunt for the top four.”
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