While Manchester United might face an almost impossible task in Paris on Wednesday, the mood in their camp continues to be at a season-high.
Yet to be beaten domestically since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s arrival back in December, former Reds defender Rio Ferdinand has called for United to break the bank and bring two of football’s biggest stars to Old Trafford.
Speaking with talkSport on Tuesday morning, an ambitions Ferdinand called on the Premier League giants to make a move for both Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale and Borussia Dortmund sensation Jadon Sancho over the summer.
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After his brilliant breakthrough in Germany with Borussia Dortmund, Sancho has been tipped to return to his homeland and become the first £100million Englishman, with United reportedly leading the chase.
Spearheading Dortmund’s march to recapture the Bundesliga title for the first time in seven years, the 18-year-old has been labeled as one of the hottest commodities in world football.
A former starlet in Manchester City’s academy, Ferdinand remains a strong admirer of Sancho and the reputation he is making for himself in rural Germany.
“Sancho or Bale? I’d take both! Manchester United can afford both.
“They’re different players, you can’t compare them. One is at the beginning of his career and one is at the other end of his career.
“Sancho has huge potential, he can be anything he wants to be.”
While United have previously been linked with a potential move for the newly crowned England international, Ferdinand believes Manchester United could also be in the perfect position to tempt Gareth Bale to make a Premier League return.
After being booed by supporters around the Bernabéu during Saturday’s 1-0 El Clasico defeat against Barcelona, many in the Spanish capital believe Bale’s tenure at Madrid is coming to an end.
Despite helping Los Blancos to four Champions League titles, the 29-year-old has fallen out of favour with new boss Santiago Solari.
With Bale’s longtime agent Jonathan Barnett branding the ‘disgraceful’ treatment of his client over the weekend, Ferdinand believes United could offer the Welshman a perfect escape from his Madrid nightmare.
“And Gareth Bale, if you’re talking about having great moments in current football, big goals on big occasions, he’s up there in that sense.
“If I was someone at Real Madrid I’d think about the trophies we’ve won while he’s been there and I’d be delighted.
“If I was someone looking for a player right now and he’s available, I’d take Gareth Bale if the price is right. But it’s down to Gareth isn’t it?
“If he’s got a desire to leave now, he’s a bit disgruntled, the fans aren’t having him as much as he thought and he wants to get out of there, a deal can be made somewhere else, I’m sure.”
Next up for United, the Reds face an unenviable task at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday night.
Suffering their only defeat under Solskjaer last month, the top-four contenders will travel to the French capital chasing a two-goal deficit and unable to call upon the suspended Paul Pogba.
However, with United playing with a newfound confidence and a much-needed attacking identity under Solskjaer, could they really break the bank and see two of Britain’s biggest stars make a return to the Premier League?