Merson names position Manchester United will finish next season with Mourinho and Ibrahimovic

Mourinho Dugout

Merson believes a striker and new manager will not be enough to solve Manchester United's deficiencies.

Paul Merson believes it will take substantial transfer business for Manchester United to get back challenging for the title next season.

Asked on the SkySports Fantasy Football Club podcast last week where United will finish in 2016/17 if they appoint Jose Mourinho and sign only PSG striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Merson did not go into great detail in his response, simply answering: "Fifth."

United are currently in sixth position, but one point behind Manchester City in fourth.

Undoubtedly if Jose Mourinho is appointed in the summer, the minimum requirement will be to achieve a top four finish, but even scraping top four would seem underwhelming in his first season, with fans craving a title challenge after three years of not even challenging to win the league since Sir Alex Ferguson left.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has won titles in Holland, Spain, Italy - under Mourinho at Inter Milan, and France, and even at 34 is considered a real asset, but in Merson's opinion he alone will not be a game changer for United.

His assessment speaks volumes about their lack of depth in defence and creatively, with Memphis Depay yet to really step up, and the team overly reliant on Chris Smalling at the back.

It is highly likely that if Mourinho did come in, he would do more than sign a striker, but Merson's warning sticks out, that if he does not fix other areas where United are deficient, then they will not progress as planned.

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