Here's how Manchester United's stunning £730 MILLION starting XI could look in five years time - according to Football Manager 2020

(Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)
(Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)

The latest edition of Football Manager - destroyer of weekend plans, ambitions to learn a new language/the clarinet, and in a few rather more severe cases, marriages - is now up and running, and we've had a lot of fun getting to grips with the new version.

Simulating five years down the line, we've had a look at how Manchester United shape up ahead of the 2024/25 season. Here's a rundown of their starting XI and manager in the future...

GK: David de Gea

Five years on, de Gea is still the main man between the sticks, and has regained his reputation as a brutally reliable force in goal. He's also racked up 105 caps for Spain, at the age of 33.

RB: Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Now a fully-fledged England international worth £60m, the former Crystal Palace defender is a vital part of United's back line. His 18/20 rating for both agility and tackling make him one of the best right-backs in the game.

CB: Kristoffer Ajer

Joining in the 2020/21 season, he was a bit of a bargain at just £17m. He's boosted his value to £58m, after following up two underwhelming seasons at Old Trafford by helping the side win back-to-back FA Cups in 2022 and 2023.

CB: Clement Lenglet

Things didn't end up too well for Harry Maguire, who's now playing for Everton after an injury-plagued few seasons for United. Lenglet set the Red Devils back £60m, and he's repaid that fee with three superb seasons at the back after leaving Barcelona.

LB: Raphael Guerriero

After a brief and disastrous spell at Liverpool, he ended up in Ukraine with Shakhtar, where he resurrected his career. However, he's been woeful since joining Manchester United, and is now on the transfer list.

CM: Donny van de Beek

In real life he's one of the most hyped midfielders around, and on FM he's gone on to live up to his great potential. However, since joining United, his ability to produce assists is on the decline.

CM: Bruno Fernandes

He's the club's top earner on a rather tasty £300k per week - good work if you can get it, eh! - and is United's new captain. He's the beating heart of their midfield, and is the dynamism the present day United are crying out for.

AMR: Leon Bailey

Hello, is that Financial Fair Play? Yes, I think we may have an issue. £179m. He's only just signed, so we have no idea whether that'll pay off. With 12 goals in three seasons at Barcelona, though, it does seem a little excessive...

AMC: Dele Alli

Bouncing back from an underwhelming 2018/29 campaign, Dele is back in business, and has been a goal and assist machine for United since joining in 2022. However, he can't get passed Chelsea's Mason Mount in the England squad.

AML: Diego Lainez

It's a left field option, but a rather intriguing one. It's a left field option, but a rather intriguing one. Plucked from Real Betis for £55m - three Leon Bailey's and some change left over for a small tropical island - the Mexican magician is an absolute rocket down the wing, and has been terrifying Premier League defences since joining in 2022. His goal and assist stats aren't the best, mind.

ST: Sebastiano Esposito

Note this one down, this young lad has a big future ahead of him according to FM! In real life, he's on the cusp of breaking into the Inter side. On FM, he makes a big money move to Manchester United, and bags 21 goals in his debut season. He's still only 22.

Manager: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

He's still at the wheel! And boy, has he spent a lot of money! - £1.2 billion, to be precise. That's bought him three third place Premier League finishes, a Europa League and two FA Cup and a Carabao Cup. He must have a few good secrets on Edward Woodwood in the locker, that's for sure!