Manchester United continue to be linked with a host of star names but, as yet, the deals have not materialised - which positions need addressing most?

United fans are becoming as familiar with transfer let downs as Bill Murray was with Gobbler's Knob. Whether it is an unwillingness to meet Borussia Dortmund's valuation for Jadon Sancho, or being told the club will wait to sign Alex Telles for free in 12 months, a Manchester United Transfer Groundhog Day has been no fun.

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In the glory years of the recent past, United were spoilt for riches in every position. Now, however, beyond their improving first XI, the quality does not run deep. The goalkeeper position is one they are certainly well stocked in - too well stocked if anything - with three international 'keepers vying for the No 1 jersey, but where else do you United need to strengthen before the window closes on October 5? The short answer? Everywhere.

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Defence

If there was any doubt left that United needed defensive reinforcements then the chaos that ensued on the south coast at the weekend put pay to that.

Victor Lindelof has, in particular, enjoyed a difficult start to the season, with every attack that comes his way looking like it will breeze straight through him. While Eric Bailly has had his fair share of injuries, he has shown little to suggest that he is anything close to providing the answers, while Chris Smalling and Phil Jones appear to be very much surplus to requirements.

So, who then, can come in to partner captain Harry Maguire, who is struggling to navigate the good ship United in choppy waters? With Manchester City having opted for Ruben Dias as their big-money central defensive acquisition, that leaves Kalidou Koulibaly up for grabs, but only for a astronomical fee, which, as we have seen with Sancho, United are not prepared to part with.

Samuel Umtiti could be an option for United

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The versatile David Alaba is yet to sign a new deal at Bayern Munich and it is not out of the realms of possibility that he could make a late move to Old Trafford, with Samuel Umtiti from Barcelona and Leipzig's Dayot Upamecano other central options reportedly available.

After overlooking the chance to sign Sergio Reguilon before Tottenham swooped in, United seem to have changed their mind on bringing in a full-back before next Tuesday, given they have been actively chasing Telles from Porto in recent weeks, but even that deal has not materialised, with the prospect of signing him for free in a year's time tempting indeed.

Luke Shaw and Aaron Wan-Bissaka's striking lack of positional sense so far this season may well change that stance, though.

Midfield

The only area of the team that has improved this summer is in midfield with the purchase of Donny van de Beek, who can play in a variety of positions.

Bruno Fernandes' seamless integration to life in the Premier League and the return of Paul Pogba gives United creative options, but even with Fred, Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic in the ranks, there is still room for improvement in anchor role arsenal.

One surprise candidate for a late move is N'Golo Kante. At 29, Kante's days as a sellable asset are running out. Clubs will only be willing to pay big money for the high octane midfielder for another year or so, so if United are willing to pay upwards of £40m for Kante, a deal could make sense, financially, for Chelsea, especially given the difficult market at the moment, and the France international could provide more proven quality for United.

Forwards

The area United, from the start of the window, have identified as the position that needs the most work is the strike department, which makes it all the more surprising that no new forwards have come in.

Last month, it appeared a matter of days before Sancho would become a Manchester United player. The England international is exactly what United need - someone adept on either side of the front three - to compliment United's already impressive attacking triumvirate of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood.

However, since Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc stood firm on price, the clubs have been locked in deadlock. United were prepared to wait, as was Sancho, but that may change as the window draws ever nearer closing.

United's front three did outscore Liverpool's famed forwardline last season, but the options beneath are virtually non-existent. After making a promising start to his United career, Daniel James has been disappointing, and could even leave on loan this window. Odion Ighalo is another who hit the ground running, but is without a goal in his last 11 appearances with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer rarely turning to Ighalo, even in times of need.

Ousmane Demeble has emerged as a potential alternative to Sancho, as has free agent Edinson Cavani, but it is Sancho who fans want, and if United just get that deal done, the entire window will be deemed a success. Over to you, Ed.

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