Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer expects to complete ‘one or two deals’ before next week’s transfer deadline, having agreed a fee for Leicester centre-back Harry Maguire.
United are set to sign the England international in a £80million deal after a summer-long chase.
Solskjaer declined to comment on the Maguire move during an interview ahead of the International Champions Cup game with Milan in Cardiff on Saturday.
But the United boss told Press Association Sport: “We still hope one or two deals can be done. We’ve been working on cases for a long time and suddenly the deal can be done when it’s dragging on.
“As a club we’ve had targets, but as a coach and manager when you go out on the pitch you have to work with the ones you have.
“You can’t think ‘what if he comes’ or ‘if he’s sold’.
“The reality is you have to work with the ones that are there. I’ve never been thinking ‘I’ll play him there but he’s coming in’.
“Everyone who has been in pre-season has a big part to play and most of them have impressed.”But it (transfer speculation) doesn’t stop (after the deadline) because you still have to plan for the next transfer window and next summer.”
Leicester will receive a world-record fee for a defender for 26-year-old Maguire, eclipsing the £75m Liverpool paid Southampton for Virgil Van Dijk in January 2018.
United had made strengthening the centre of their defence a priority at the start of the summer, with the need only becoming more acute when Eric Bailly suffered a knee injury during their pre-season tour of China which is expected to keep him out for at least four months.
However, Maguire’s arrival will almost certainly lead to a clear-out at Old Trafford, where there are already six defenders – Bailly, Victor Lindelof, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo and Axel Tuanzebe – in the senior squad.
The deal more than doubles United’s outlay this summer so far. Aaron Wan-Bissaka cost an initial £45m from Crystal Palace while Daniel James signed from Swansea for £18m.
United had been linked with an interest in Juventus forward Paulo Dybala but that deal is now reported to be over, and the Red Devils are set to challenge Tottenham in the race for Sporting Libson midfielder and long-term target Bruno Fernandes.