Rio Ferdinand identifies the ‘prime position’ Man Utd need to strengthen

Ferdinand assessed Manchester United’s biggest need (Picture: AMA/Getty)

Rio Ferdinand believes Manchester United must strengthen at centre-back this summer, if they’re to close the gap on Premier League champions Manchester City.

While the Red Devils have predominantly been linked with attacking players ahead of the summer transfer window, Ferdinand says the ‘prime position’ Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should be looking to recruit is centre-half.

‘I think Manchester United’s prime position for them to strengthen, to really improve and become a team who can compete is centre-back,’ Ferdinand told BT Sport after the 2-1 defeat to Leicester.

‘To get a partner for Harry Maguire who you go, actually every week he produces, he’s there.

‘At the moment there’s too many players centre-forwards especially who probably are looking when they get in the tunnel and are thinking, “I’ve got a chance here. I think I can smell a chance.”

‘Whereas the teams who do really well, [Ruben] Dias and [John] Stones at the back at the moment in the past four or five months, teams are looking at them and thinking it’s going to be very difficult for me today.

Harry Maguire of Manchester United during the UEFA Europa League Semi-Final match between AS Roma and Manchester United at Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy on 6 May 2021.

Maguire needs a new centre-back partner, says Ferdinand (Picture: NurPhoto via Getty Images)

‘I don’t think they get that feeling right now when they play against the centre-backs at Manchester United.’

While a centre-back is top of Ferdinand’s wishlist, he still thinks they have to pursue Erling Haaland, should the Borussia Dortmund striker become available.

‘You have to go and get him,’ added the former United centre-half. ‘You can’t allow him to go anywhere else.

‘If you’re Manchester United and you want to close the gap on the teams in the Premier League and in Europe then you’ve got to go and get the best available.

‘That’s what Manchester United have been accustomed to doing in years gone by. If they want to be thought of as a team who can compete at the top end, when those players become available you have to go and get them.’

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