Manchester United could be in full rebuild mode this summer, when they plan to appoint a new full-time manager.
The Red Devils have been without a permanent boss since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s sacking in November, with Ralf Rangnick taking the reins on a temporary basis.
United will almost certainly head into next term with a new man at the helm, and they also have a new CEO in the form of Richard Arnold, who took over from Ed Woodward in February.
The change should give United a fresh start, and there is hope among supporters they can achieve more success in the transfer window as a result, having spent big with little success over recent years.
With that in mind, we have taken a look at La Liga and the contract situations that United could exploit to secure some bargain signings.
Here are our top five picks:
1. Ousmane Dembélé
The most obvious contract situation that can be taken advantage of as soon as today, tomorrow or whenever United would like, is that of Ousmane Dembélé.
The Barcelona winger is out of contract from this summer, and he is already free to speak to clubs outside of Spain to agree a pre-contract agreement.
Dembélé is said to want to stay at Camp Nou, but he has continued to spurn contract offers for months. He looks to be headed for the exit door, and he would be an excellent acquisition for United if he can stay fit.
The former France international was signed for more than £100million back in 2017 and he is still only 24 years of age.
2. Thomas Lemar
Thomas Lemar finds himself in a less than ideal contract situation, and he could become available as a result.
The Atletico Madrid star’s deal expires in 2023 and he is yet to agree to an extension.
The 26-yearpold was key in Atletico’s La Liga title win last season and he is a top-level player, able to play centrally and out wide with pace to burn.
He is an experienced France international and would be a top signing if United can use his contract situation against Atletico.
Barcelona star Gavi appears to be a generational talent, already a first-team regular at the age of just 17.
He is a Spainish international and is arguably already one of Barca’s best players, able to play in the midfield or as part of a front three.
Gavi is out of contract in 2023 and Barcelona will try everything to extend his current deal.
The youngster is said to have rejected the club’s first offer, and is believed to be holding out for an improved offer that reflects his importance to the club.
He is still likely to sign an extension, but now is the time to turn his head.
4. Ronald Araujo
Another Barcelona player in a similar situation is centre-back Ronald Araujo, who is out of contract in 2023.
He is one of the club’s contract priorities, but once again, the Catalan giants have come up short with their first offer, restricted by tight finances.
Araujo is likely to sign a new deal, but if offered a suitably juicy wage, who knows what could happen.
The Uruguayan is a pacey defender who is a dominant in the air, and he is only 22 years of age.
5. Marco Asensio
Marco Asensio’s future at Real Madrid is up in the air. The attacker has rediscovered his best form this season having struggled to bounce back from an injury in the 2020/21 campaign.
The Spaniard is Madrid’s third top scorer this season, with six goals so far, and he has been the go-to man on the right side of Carlo Ancelotti’s attack.
On the face of it, it would be a no-brainer for Real Madrid to extend his contract past 2023 based on this season’s form.
But if they sign Kylian Mbappe this summer, Asensio is going to drop out of the starting XI, with Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior going nowhere.
If Asensio is not a starter, is he going to be happy at the Santiago Bernabeu? And beyond that, are Real Madrid going to accept paying a big wage to a non-starter?
This could be one to keep an eye on.