Jose Mourinho is set to embark upon the biggest spending spree in Manchester United’s history in his bid to overhaul his squad this summer.
The United manager has told executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward to back him with the funds to mount a genuine challenge to Manchester City next season.
He wants as many as five new recruits, with midfield and defense his priorities. And that could cost in excess of £250m.
Mourinho has made it clear during talks with United’s hierarchy that the near-£300m he’s spent in two seasons at Old Trafford is not enough to stop Pep Guardiola from dominating the Premier League.
And after finishing trophyless and 19-points adrift of champions City, he wants more money than ever to build a title challenging team.
Here MEN Sport considers the cost of turning United into champions.
Mourinho wants three new additions at the back after growing frustrated by his over-reliance on a defense made up of Sir Alex Ferguson’s signings.
He has already tried to overhaul the back four with the signings of Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof at a combined cost of more than £60m - but ended the campaign with Phil Jones and Chris Smalling as his central defensive pairing.
Toby Alderweireld is his first-choice target at centre-back at a cost of around £50m.
United have opened talks with Tottenham over the Belgian international, but Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is a tough negotiator.
Porto right-back Diogo Dalot is nearing a move to Old Trafford for £17.5m, which could be considered a bargain in the current market.
At left-back United have tracked Alex Sandro from Juventus, with Danny Rose and Jordi Alba also linked. Kieran Tierney and Ryan Sessegnon are younger options - but all are likely to come in at considerably more than Dalot.
Requirements: Two full-backs, a centre-back.
Names in the frame: Diogo Dalot, Toby Alderweireld, Alex Sandro, Danny Rose, Jordi Alba, Kieran Tierney, Ryan Sessegnon.
At least one top-class central midfielder is required, but Mourinho would ideally like to add two new faces to his engine room.
Michael Carrick has retired, meaning United are in need of a holding midfielder who can dictate play with his passing.
Fred is nearing a move to Old Trafford and would fulfill that role.
But Mourinho’s continued pursuit of Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is evidence of his desire to add more in that department.
Marouane Fellaini has so far refused to sign a contract extension and will be a free agent by the end of the month.
Milinkovic-Savic’s £90m-plus valuation means he would have to be much more than a replacement for the Belgian.
CSKA’s Aleksandr Golovin would be a cheaper option.
The arrival either might see one of Juan Mata or Ander Herrera exit, with Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, and Scott McTominay all fighting for a regular starting place.
Requirements: A holding midfielder and a replacement for Fellaini.
Names in the frame: Fred, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Arturo Vidal, Jean-Michael Seri, Marco Verratti.
Despite claiming in January that he would not look to add to his forward line, it is becoming increasingly likely Mourinho will try to solve his long-term problem on the right.
Gareth Bale put United on red alert with his come and get me plea after the Champions League final - but Zinedine Zidane’s departure could prompt a rethink.
Real Madrid are believed to want a minimum of £120m if he does agitate to go.
Willian is a long-term United target and would be a considerably cheaper alternative.
Marko Arnautovic is a more left-field option, but his ability to act as understudy to Romelu Lukaku may appeal to Mourinho - even if his £50m price tag looks steep.
Requirements: A right winger/cover for Lukaku.
Cost: £40-50m (unless a world-class option like Bale becomes available)
Names in the frame: Marko Arnautovic, Willian, Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo.