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Which three players could Manchester United sign to close the gap on Liverpool?

Sports Mole picks out three players Manchester United could sign to potentially close the gap on Liverpool.

Manchester United have had their problems this season, but it would also be fair to say that there have been plenty of positive signs, particularly in recent weeks, as the club strive to return to former glories.

Not since Sir Alex Ferguson departed in 2013 have United won the Premier League, while they are some way off the pace being set by Liverpool this season. Indeed, as it stands, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side are fifth in the Premier League table, some 37 points behind the division leaders.

It remains to be seen if the 2019-20 campaign can be completed, but there is no question that the 20-time English champions have work to do in the transfer market if they are to close the gap on their bitter rivals.

Here, Sports Mole picks out three players the Red Devils could sign to potentially get closer to Jurgen Klopp's team, starting from next season.


JADON SANCHO (BORUSSIA DORTMUND)

Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho celebrates scoring their third goal in January 2020© Reuters

Sancho's name on this list will not be a surprise. According to Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano, United remain confident of signing the Borussia Dortmund attacker this summer despite the current uncertainty in the football world.

The 19-year-old has been a revelation since turning down a new contract at Manchester City to join BVB, scoring 31 times and registering 42 assists in 90 appearances in all competitions.

This term, the England international has managed 17 goals and 19 assists in 35 appearances, and it is not a surprise that so many clubs continue to be linked with his services ahead of the summer.

United are crying out for a right-sided attacker, and it is not too difficult to see where the Englishman would fit into Solskjaer's side. The Red Devils might have to pay around £120m to secure his services, but there is every chance that he could star for the club for the next 10 years if he makes the move.

The number seven shirt is expected to become vacant this summer with Alexis Sanchez being tipped to leave on a permanent deal, and Sancho would surely relish the opportunity to potentially take on the famous jersey, which has proved to be somewhat of a poisoned chalice in recent seasons.


JACK GREALISH (ASTON VILLA)

Jack Grealish in action for Aston Villa on February 22, 2020© Reuters

Like Sancho, the speculation linking Grealish with a move to United is refusing to dissipate. The 24-year-old has been outstanding for a struggling Aston Villa side this season, contributing nine goals and eight assists in 31 appearances in all competitions, with seven of those goals coming in the Premier League.

It seems incredible to think that he has still not made an England appearance, but he would more than likely have been included in Gareth Southgate's squad for the March fixtures had football not been forced to take a break.

Grealish started the 2019-20 campaign as a central midfielder but has actually played a lot of football off the left in recent months. He also operated as a second striker against Manchester City back in December, and there is no question that his versatility makes him an even more attractive proposition for United.

There are certainly more glamorous names on the market, namely Antoine Griezmann, who is currently being linked with a switch to Old Trafford. Grealish fits the brief in terms of United's direction in the transfer market, though, and he has the talent and temperament to be a fine player for the Red Devils.


KALIDOU KOULIBALY (NAPOLI)

Kalidou Koulibaly in action for Napoli on October 2, 2019© Reuters

For all of the criticism that has come United's way this season, their defensive record must be respected. Indeed, only Liverpool, Sheffield United and Leicester City have conceded fewer Premier League goals this season, while Solskjaer's side have kept clean sheets in nine of their last 11 matches.

Harry Maguire has come of age after a shaky start, while Victor Lindelof and Luke Shaw have also proved to be a success in a back three. There is a general feeling that United need a world-class performer to slot in alongside Maguire, though, and Koulibaly certainly falls into that category.

At 28, the Senegal international is very much in his prime. Standing at 6ft 1in and boasting an impressive frame, Koulibaly has the physicality required to compete in England. The centre-back is also excellent on the ball and showed his credentials against Liverpool in the Champions League this season.

The former Metz youngster has had his injury problems this season but has played 233 times for his current side since arriving from Genk in 2014.

The Senegalese has allegedly informed Napoli that he would be open to a summer exit, although there is no question that the Italian outfit will be looking for big money. Not since Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand have United boasted a genuinely world-class centre-back pairing, though, and the thought of Maguire and Koulibaly lining up at the heart of the defence would be very exciting for the club's fans.


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Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba pictured on December 26, 2019
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool29271166214582
2Manchester CityMan City28183768313757
3Leicester CityLeicester29165858283053
4Chelsea29146951391248
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd29129844301445
6Wolverhampton WanderersWolves29101364134743
7Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd28111073025543
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs29118104740741
9Arsenal2891364036440
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13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2998122541-1635
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16West Ham UnitedWest Ham2976163550-1527
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18Bournemouth2976162947-1827
19Aston Villa2874173456-2225
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