It almost felt like the end of an era as Atletico Madrid were knocked out of the Champions League on Thursday night.
A deflected late strike from Tyler Adams saw RB Leipzig move into the last four of club football's most prestigious tournament as the club owned by an energy drink company set up a tie against one owned by the state of Qatar. Welcome to football in 2020.
Confirmation of the first Champions League semi-final only further highlighted the growing change in club football, and defeat for Atletico cast doubt over the long-term project for the likeable Spanish side. Under the guidance of Diego Simeone they have become one of the most impressive teams in Europe, but defeat in a game which seemed so winnable might bring great change along with it, and Manchester United could prosper as a result.
Transfer gossip columns continue to overflow with Jadon Sancho updates and the plethora of alternatives available should United fail to agree terms with Dortmund over a summer move, but right wing isn't the only area which is in need of improvement
United's resurgent form under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer saw United shine after establishing their best XI in the run-in, with a midfield trio of Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes providing the ideal balance to combat almost any opposition. However, problems tended to arise whenever any of the preferred trio dropped out of the starting line-up, and it is a big concern going into next season.
It is likely United will be playing two games a week for the majority of the next campaign amid such a packed fixture schedule and Solskjaer will be put to the test in terms of squad rotation. Such a dilemma has led to plenty of calls for a new attacking midfielder to ease the burden on Pogba and Fernandes, but there is argument to suggest cover for Matic is the more pressing matter.
In recent weeks both Fred and Scott McTominay have struggled to offer the same level of defensive protection as Matic when deployed as holding midfielders, with neither a specialist in the role. Instead there is fair argument to suggest a new defensive-minded midfielder is needed, and at Atletico there are options in both Saul Niguez and Thomas Partey. Partey is the more defensive-minded of the two but Saul, while not explicitly a holding midfielder by trade, routinely operates in central midfield and would be an upgrade on United's back-up options.
After a second successive trophyless season the pair might now be keen to seek a new challenge following failure to progress in the Champions League, and a move to United this summer would provide them with the platform to be at the heart of a project which is gaining pace, rather than resuscitating one which has lost momentum.
United's own qualification for the Champions League would make the move to Old Trafford a lot more appealing than previous for the players, while the added transfer revenues would make the issue of money less of a stumbling block in terms of luring either midfielder to the Premier League.
This summer United's gradual rebuild will require more than just a new attacking option to take them to the next level, and it is amid uncertainty at Atletico where Solskjaer should start his search for midfield reinforcements.
Saul and Partey both have key roles to play under Simeone at the Wanda Metropolitano, but if either fancies a new challenge then it could be a switch to Old Trafford which makes perfect sense for both player and club. Although neither will be worth their true transfer values this summer, United are in a better position than most to spend big, and in turn could fund Atletico's next rebuild by taking the next step in their own.