Manchester United close to £88m trio - An important statement but is it enough?

Old Trafford Interior

Manchester United are making progress with three transfer deals, but how much will it actually improve their squad?

Manchester United appear to be finally making progress with their summer transfer business, moving on three major stars. 

Luke Shaw - £34 million

The Mirror write that United have submitted a £34 million bid for left-back Luke Shaw, which will test Southampton's resolve to keep him. Two previous bids were rejected by the Saints but this appears too good for them to turn down.

Miranda - £24 million

Spanish newspaper AS reported at the weekend that Miranda is 'almost' a United player, with terms agreed and United simply having to match his release clause. 

Ander Herrera - £30m

Reports over the past 24 hours have suggested United have signalled their intent to pay Herrera's £30 million release clause, to sign him from Athletic Bilbao. The Red Devils came close to signing him last summer and are now revisiting that interest.

So where do the trio fit in at United and does it turn them into title contenders?

This answer should be prefaced by the statement that any team managed by Louis van Gaal will be contending for trophies; that's a comfort fans should take when remembering the lows of last season under David Moyes.

The signings are however not enough themselves to take the Red Devils significantly head and shoulders above their rivals, and despite the huge outlay, more will be required.

Luke Shaw is a signing as much for the future as of now, indicated by United tying down Patrice Evra to a one-year extension on his present deal. He will surely prove to be a great addition and repay his price tag over his career, but do not expect an instant impact, especially given his age and ability to deal with the pressure which will come along will be untested.

Miranda is a case of a good signing, being bought simply to help United stand still. Despite their poor defending at times last season, the club have been significantly weakened by Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand's departure. He will improve the club's options, and ideally help the Red Devils play more consistently than they did last term.

The centre-back position is one which needs fixing if they are to win trophies. If Vidic had stayed and Ferdinand departed, United's prospects here would be much improved with Miranda in the side; but without Vidic, the Atletico Madrid man's impending arrival changes little.

Ander Herrera's arrival in midfield, is a lot more to be positive about. The area is a position of major weakness for United, and has been in truth ever since Roy Keane left.

Herrera is not the type of player Keane is, but should be a good fit for United, with his eye for goal and strong passing. The drawbacks of his signing revolve around the fact he is untested at the very top level internationally, and not the player of the type of stature required like Arturo Vidal, who would automatically transform the side.

Overall the signings are top quality players individually, but United's staff or fans should not convince themselves that the job is done simply by signing the trio.

Another top level central midfielder will still be required, arguably another centre-back, and possibly two wingers, with Ashley Young and Nani ideally being moved on.

Then will talk of the title look realisitic, but if United can tie up the trio then they will be in a far stronger position that they were, and signify to their other transfer targets that they are 'open for business', and United is an exciting place to be for next season.

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch