Manchester United have another transfer strategy they need to speed up this summer

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer of Manchester United in action during a first team training session at Aon Training Complex on August 03, 2020 in Manchester, England.

In the middle of the next week the lane leading up to Manchester United's Carrington training ground will begin to hum to the usual sound of sports cars and 4*4s as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's plauers return to pre-season training.

It's been an unusually short summer of tranquillity out on the border of Greater Manchester and Cheshire, but that will be shattered when what remains a large squad return with just over two weeks before they kick-off the 2020/21 Premier League season.

Even accounting for those players away on international duty, it will remain a sizeable group that Solskjaer and his backroom staff look to drill in what is a remarkably short pre-season, and that isn't an ideal scenario for the Norwegian.

Solskjaer would have hoped to have new faces through the door to welcome back on September 2, but he would also hope to have trimmed the excess off his bloated squad.

But so far United are yet to seal any new signings and only Alexis Sanchez has departed, making his loan move to Inter Milan permanent.

That means Chris Smalling will be back from his own loan spell at Roma, despite the expectation he will be leaving again before the transfer window closes in the first week of October. Others players with uncertain futures, such as Diogo Dalot, Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones, Andreas Pereira and Jesse Lingard also remain at the club.

Not all of them will be sold, but some will expect to be departing this summer. Clearly United could do with shifting at least two central defenders, including Smalling, while the competition for places in midfield since the arrival of Bruno Fernandes and the return from injury of Paul Pogba should mean one of Pereira or Lingard is up for the sale.

For now they all remain United players and will be part of the large group that will be put through their paces in record time ahead of the new season. Given the time Solskjaer has to work with his squad is restricted, he would probably have hoped that his group was as tight as possible for some intense sessions at Carrington.

Instead, it seems inevitable that some players who have no short-term future at the club will be involved in the first week of pre-season training at least. Add in young players such as James Garner and Dylan Levitt, who will probably leave on loan, and there could be a queue for the gyms and the pitches at the training ground.

This was always going to be a summer like never before for Premier League clubs, both in the transfer market and in terms of pre-season preparation. 

United's plans have been further complicated by the unexpected headache of Harry Maguire's arrest and subsequent conviction in Greece, a verdict which has now been nullified following the lodging of his appeal by his legal team.

That distraction won't have helped at Old Trafford, but as the players begin to return to duty next week, it's clear that this squad still needs work to be done on those coming in through the door and those likely to be saying their goodbyes this summer.

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