Gary Neville says Ole Gunner Solskjaer has ‘four or five’ players he wants to sell – and just as many that he wants to buy – as he looks to reshape Manchester United’s squad this summer.
The Red Devils won again at the weekend, beating Watford 2-1 in Solskjaer’s first match since being handed the reins permanently, and are locked in the battle to finish in the top four.
But Neville believes Solskjaer faces a massive task to turn the squad into title challengers and says his former teammate will need the support of a director of football to make the changes required.
Speaking on TheGary Neville Podcast, he explained: ‘There’s four or five players that he will want to keep that are out of contract that he needs to tie down.
‘There are four or five players that he’ll need to bring in. And there are probably four or five players that he needs to get out.
‘So if you think about that in terms of the job over the next two or three months, you’ve got probably 12 live situations: four players we need to sign on contracts, four players we need get into the club and four players we need to get out for the most money possible.
‘And that needs a good wheeler dealer behind the scenes, someone who can sort of manage that situation. Manchester United haven’t been brilliant at that over the last few years. So that’s the big job, and it’s not his [Solskjaer’s] job, but it will determine the outcome of his success.’
He continued: ‘I think that gap in knowledge between the manager and the board room in terms of recruitment needs filling for Manchester United.
‘I’ve said before that they need the best in class recruitment and technical side in behind the manager or else he will continue to fail.
‘Over the last six or seven years, United have put £700m into that squad and they’re still falling well short of where Liverpool and City are at the moment in terms of winning titles. In fact, they’re 18 points behind.
‘So what you’ve got to look at is how Manchester United bridge that gap and they’re going to need to bridge it with, yes, the spirit that Solskjaer’s created but they have to get better players on the pitch that can compete with Liverpool and Manchester City to go along with some of the very good players they’ve already got.’