Man United legend Andy Cole believes that Manchester United will face challenges in attracting “top players” during the upcoming summer transfer window, especially with interest from rivals City and Liverpool.
The Red Devils, who last secured an English title in 2012 under the management of Sir Alex Ferguson, have struggled to maintain their dominance in the past decade. Despite changes in managerial leadership, United has been unable to reverse their decline.
Erik ten Hag assumed the managerial role in the summer of 2022, and despite winning the Carabao Cup in 2023, their first trophy in nearly six years, the Dutch manager has faced challenges.
Manchester United, entering the current season as defending champions in the competition, were eliminated in the round of 16 by Newcastle United. They also experienced an early exit from European competition in the group stage and currently hold the eighth position in the league standings, trailing fourth-placed Aston Villa by 11 points.
Andy Cole expressed disappointment with the team’s recent performance. He believes that the club is no longer an appealing destination for top players, especially as they cannot guarantee a spot in the Champions League.
He told Betfred: “It’s going to be very interesting to see how they plan on doing that in the summer and how they plan on enticing players to come to Old Trafford. A lot of it depends on where Manchester United finishes in the Premier League this season and whether they’re going to be playing European football next season or not.
“If there’s no European football and they’re trying to entice players, then how are they going to sell their project? The possibility of winning the FA Cup or League Cup? Winning the Premier League? Nobody knows if Manchester United are going to be playing in the Champions League the season after next and the season after that. That’s why I believe it’s going to be a hard sell for Manchester United to convince top players to join the club this summer. How many players would turn down Manchester City or Liverpool to join Manchester United? This summer is going to be really interesting.”
Manchester United still have a chance to secure silverware this season through the FA Cup, their most viable opportunity.
Their upcoming match against Newport County on Sunday should be manageable for them to advance to the next round if they perform at their best. Looking forward, they have a busy schedule with Premier League matches against Wolves and West Ham on February 1 and 4, respectively.