Manchester United remain managerless, but that doesn't mean the Red Devils are exempt from the usual array of transfer speculation. In fact, after the club's terrible Premier League season, the Old Trafford doors can be expected to swing with greater regularity during the summer.
The club's rumoured pursuit of Edinson Cavani is the latest tidbit to throw a spanner in the works. Cavani, who is often pushed away from his favoured centre-forward's role at Paris Saint-Germain, has reportedly revealed he is willing to remain in Ligue 1, per Paul Handler of the Manchester Evening News, who also says United are "set to sign" Luke Shaw from Southampton:
Reports in France following Paris St Germain's title win suggest that rumoured strike target Edinson Cavani is happy in Ligue 1 for now.
The Reds had been linked with a move for the Uruguayan striker but it could be tough - and expensive - to prise him away from PSG.
Cavani's reported happiness was also tweeted by Get French Football:
FLASH: Edinson Cavani confirms he will be at PSG next season. #PSG— Get French Football (@GFN_France) May 17, 2014
United's need for revitalisation extends across the entire squad. With Patrice Evra expected to follow Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand out the door, as noted by Handler, the club must quickly lure defensive quality toward the Theatre of Dreams.
Alan Oliver and Neil Moxley of the Sunday People believe United "are set to hijack Bacary Sagna's move to Manchester City." The transfer would make perfect sense for all involved. United could use a quality right-back after Rafael's poor season, and Sagna wouldn't have to waste away the latter years of his career playing second fiddle to Pablo Zabaleta.
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City's recent financial fair play sanctions also limits the amount they can spend, per BBC Sport. It would be unwise for the club to secure the French full-back's wages at around £100,000 if he isn't playing regular football. Sagna naturally emits the attacking intent and defensive reliability that United should be striving for, suggesting he would be an excellent signing for free.
Last year's Premier League champions are also looking to freshen up ahead of the defence. They are one of many clubs being linked to Real Sociedad's Antoine Griezmann, who admitted he is "ambitious" and would only leave for a "very big European club," per David Wright of The Express.
Griezmann's versatility would make him a popular fit at Old Trafford. The attacking midfielder can play on either wing, just behind the striker and even in a more advanced role. His 16 La Liga goals this season, per WhoScored.com, underline a goalscorer of real quality, someone who could oust Nani, Ashley Young or Antonio Valencia out of the team.
This sense of competition is needed at United. Too many players have gotten by without being challenged for too long. Additional strength in depth is a must, but a nailed-down starting XI that can compete with the Premier League's best also needs to be produced.
Cavani has always seemed like a long shot, but he offers the type of quality United should be looking at. His work rate and battle-ready approach are also something every United player needs, especially after the embarrassing season that was just endured.
The new manager, whether it turns out to be Louis van Gaal or somebody else, must quickly reinstall a sense of character and all-round quality into an ailing squad that has been crying out for additional quality since before Sir Alex Ferguson left.