Manchester United legend Paul Scholes has called for his old team to sign Luka Modric, Raphael Varane and Paul Pogba this summer.
"I’d like [Modric]. How old is he now? Might be a bit too old, but he’s a great player. I like [Varane]. I said realistic and I’m picking Real Madrid players?
"We probably need a centre-forward but there’s not too many of them about, so I’m going to say I’d like us to bring [Pogba] back."
United boss Louis van Gaal has spent around £250 million in the transfer market since his arrival, but the club find themselves in danger of missing out on the Champions League next season as they sit in sixth place, four points off the top four.
The Red Devils lost 2-0 to bitter rivals Liverpool in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday, prompting an angry outburst from Scholes in his capacity as a BT Sport pundit:
BT Sport Football @btsportfootball
"Disaster. Absolute disaster." A livid Scholes says @ManUtd have lost their identity under Van Gaal. #MUFC #LIVMAN https://t.co/fgTxgiYwcx3/10/2016, 10:17:12 PM
Indeed, the midfielder is struggling to comprehend the reasoning behind Van Gaal's tactical and selection decisions, as are many of United's fans—a number of whom cannot understand the Dutchman's persistence with Marouane Fellaini, who was jeered by some of his own fans when substituted on Sunday.
Further, the manager said he believes "the fans have enjoyed this game" after United were held to a 1-1 draw at home to West Ham United, per the club's official website.
Per Guardian sport, illustrator David Squires offered an explanation as to why Van Gaal's plans have proved difficult to discern:
Guardian sport @guardian_sport
Cartoon time: @squires_david on … Manchester United v Liverpool in the Europa League https://t.co/M5ka0XzX3c https://t.co/vT4408F74F3/15/2016, 10:02:11 AM
What is clear is that United need reinvigorating. As BBC Sport's Phil McNulty and Squawka Football reveal, the team have been uninspiring to put it mildly:
Phil McNulty @philmcnulty
Manchester United are just, well, stodgy. Boring.3/13/2016, 5:07:04 PM
Squawka Football @Squawka
Man United have now failed to win 21 of their last 34 (61.7%) games across all competitions. The clock is ticking. https://t.co/lUzAcXK1XM3/13/2016, 6:11:12 PM
Marquee signings such as Pogba, Modric and Varane would likely have a transformative effect on United's standard of play, not to mention their outlook.
United have yet to successfully replace Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic. While Chris Smalling has developed well in recent years, he lacks a reliable defensive partner alongside him. Varane is one of the most exciting young defenders in Europe right now and could add steel and class to their back line.
The Red Devils have lacked a central midfielder with Scholes' passing or ability to dictate the tempo of games since he retired, and that's where Modric could come in. The Croatian turned 30 in September but could still provide several strong years of service if he were recruited this summer.
Further up field, box-to-box midfielder Pogba has enjoyed a successful transition into a No. 10 with Juventus this season, scoring six goals and assisting nine while thrilling the Bianconeri with flair and skill. United would benefit from him in either role, and of the three, he could truly bring excitement back to Old Trafford.
Landing just one of them would be exceedingly difficult, though, as United would face significant competition for their signatures, not to mention their clubs would undoubtedly prefer to have them stay put if possible.
Scholes' choices are all understandable and could each dramatically improve the Red Devils, but in terms of the club actually signing them, it may be wishful thinking on the part of the former United man.