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Manchester United have yet to show their hand in the transfer market this summer, with the immediate priority fending off Real Madrid's interest in Cristiano Ronaldo. In the first part of our Shaping up for the Season series, Mark Buckingham looks at whether Ronaldo will stay at Old Trafford and where Sir Alex Ferguson will be seeking to improve after last season's success in the Premier League and Champions League.

What's happened so far

In summary, precious little. There may be a new twist or angle on the Ronaldo story on an hourly basis, but in truth there has been nothing concrete to emerge from the saga aside from United reporting Real Madrid to Fifa for their public pursuit of the Portuguese winger.

Ronaldo is currently on holiday with his WAG and, judging by the holiday snaps, doesn't seem to be in too much of a hurry to return to the inclement Manchester climate to resolve his future and undergo a minor ankle operation. Who can blame him?

He has repeatedly said he 'dreams' of playing for Real Madrid, but with the Spanish champions saying they won't make a bid until United decide to sell, the stand-off could last until 31st August when the transfer window closes.

Upon returning to his desk this week, United boss Ferguson will doubtless look to focus on bringing in new signings, rather than become irked by Real's latest soundbites of respect for United and admiration for Ronaldo.

As usual, the Red Devils have been linked with a string of big-name signings - the likes of Dimitar Berbatov, Karim Benzema, Roque Santa Cruz and Bastian Schweinsteiger may not always trip easily off the tongue, but they would certainly add something extra to the United squad.

Euro 2008 has not really seen any new names, Schweinsteiger aside, become reported United targets, but much is likely to depend on what does eventually happen with Ronaldo, with half of Real's squad to be used as bait to land last season's Footballer of the Year.

Mikael Silvestre and Louis Saha have been tipped to move on, and Ferguson is unlikely to bend over backwards to keep the French duo, with every other senior member of the first-team squad seemingly happy and settled after last season's double success.

Gerard Pique has been sold to Barcelona, but the focus and attention has firmly been on the future of 42-goal man Ronaldo, who has stopped short of coming out with an outright declaration of intent to join Real this summer.

What they need

A right winger, if Ronaldo goes! They don't necessarily need to keep Ronaldo to be as successful as last season, but it would all revolve around who was brought in to fill the 23-year-old's boots.

A right-back could also be targeted by Ferguson, although much will depend on how club captain Gary Neville shapes up during pre-season after his last campaign was wrecked by injury.

An out-an-out striker would be many people's idea of the priority for United's squad given Saha's injury troubles and it would be a surprise if a new No.9 does not come into the club, while cover at centre-half and left-back could also be considered.

Ferguson is likely to have around £50million to spend as it stands, although that sum would certainly double, if he does decide to accept a mega profit by selling Ronaldo to Real.

What they'll get

By the time of the Community Shield game against Portsmouth on 10th August, Ferguson will hope to have his squad for the coming season finalised.

Exorbitant sums have been quoted for the likes of Berbatov and Benzema, but Ferguson is unlikely to pay over the odds for new signings, particularly when they would not be considered as automatic starters, so Blackburn's Santa Cruz would appear to be the most viable option.

Ronaldo is the big imponderable and it is hard to predict the state of United's squad for the start of the season until a firm decision is made on his future.

As for exits, Silvestre and Saha could be shipped out to allow a general improvement in the overall squad, while young defender Jonny Evans could also be sold. Striker Fraizer Campbell, a hit in Hull City's promotion campaign, may also be on the move back to the KC Stadium.

Fan's view - Darren Lee

Strengthening our full-backs is a key area for United. Having built their success on defence last year, it's key we get depth on the full-backs. I would see a better long-term option in Danny Simpson etc than John O'Shea from both an attacking and defensive situation.

Obviously, the Ronaldo saga will play itself out but I would be looking to strengthen the wingers as we are struggling to find a natural left attacking wingman, as Giggs gets older.

Finally an "out and out" striker is needed so as to take pressure off the midfielders/wingers to be the bulk of the goalscorers and allow Rooney as a linkman. Perhaps a 4-4-2 system may be the answer again for the double winners.,19528,11096_3754653,00.html

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United need a right back and a striker (i don't think nessasaraly an out and out because united did fine without one the last 2 seasons) and a replacment for Ronney if he is sold. other then that i don't think united need any new players.

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A clinical finisher is a must and should be no1 priority in Fergie's transfer shortlist and he did say that maybe he will have a sole signing and that imo should be the sole signing! His got 50m to spend and if it is just going to be on one signing then I guess we can go for any striker in the market and who ever Fergie fancies.

For me Villa should be looked into as Valencia and he both have said that he is on sale.

Eto'o is also on sale and should be considered.

Huntelaar also doesn't seem to be please with Van Basten not using him in Euro 08 and will consider leaving Ajax and looks like another option.

Benzema's asking price apparently was too much for Fergie (48m pounds) and he lost interest for this summer but could be an option for next summer as he is doing a Torres (staying for one more season with his boyhood club before leaving and similar to what Huntelaar did last summer).

Podolski could also be an option but I doubt Klinsmann will sell him as he loves the kid and needs him for next season but with Klose and Luca Toni blocking his starting place maybe he will consider a move but for me he is a second striker just like Rooney and Tevez and we do not need 3 of them! We just need another Ruud/Solskeajr.

I think we need to go for a known quality striker instead of an unkown gamble as we have already taken one with Manucho. Villa, Eto'o & Huntelaar all look realistic as they all have been up for sale directly and indirectly and these 3 for me should be our number one targets.

I am a strong believer in Ronaldo and am very sure he will remain at OT for at least one more season and therefore I will not waste my time about Ronaldo replacements as it will not be necessary. A defender maybe be bought if say Silvestre goes but the last thing I heard was he told Blanc he will remain at Man United and next season will be his last with the club and maybe his last in football. Pique did leave but I guess Evans and Simpson will stay as back up and those Brazillan twins are comming so maybe a defender is not a must buy at the moment also with Neville back from injury. If we were to buy a full back I would go for Lahm as he can play both LWB and RWB and would be perfect for United's style of football.

A midfielder for me is also a must but only after we sell Fletcher. I believe Fletcher can be a first team regular at some other club like say Rangers or Celtic and someone of his type of player (Scotish Vice Captain) should seriously play first team and to me his not fully Man United quality to play here at OT first team regularly. If I was Fergie I would sell him and get someone like Schweinstiger, Van Der Vaart, Moutinhio, Veloso and etc. Versitile, creative, skillfull, quality, talented and has experience.
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