Manchester United has a number of issues to address in the summer transfer season, but who they sign will most likely be determined by who they choose as their permanent manager.
Mauricio Pochettino and Erik ten Hag are United’s top managerial targets, but new claims in the English media suggest that the Dutchman will be the next man in the Old Trafford dugout, with Jonathan Schrager the latest to say that the club has approached him.
So, who would he put his signature on?
United appear to be prioritizing the acquisition of a defensive midfielder and a striker, with MEN Sport reporting that the club may make up to four signings this summer.
Given the turbulence of the season thus far and the expectations that the new manager will face, United may raise this number if the budget allows, and some rumours suggest that the club may search for another centre back to challenge Harry Maguire.
According to the Daily Mail, despite Ralf Rangnick’s apparent backing for Maguire, he has reservations behind the scenes and could advise that a replacement center defender is signed as soon as this summer.
If Ten Hag is hired, he may return to Ajax to solve certain issues, as the club has a history of trading their best players. Jurrien Timber has made an impression this season, but he may be too young to transfer to Old Trafford. In Amsterdam, his center-back partner could be the key.
This season, Lisandro Martinez has been a standout performer for Ajax, and Ten Hag has emphasized his value to the squad. He began his career as a defensive midfielder for the club, but the Dutch manager noticed his potential on the backline.
Martinez, who had never played there before, seized the opportunity and has since become a permanent fixture. He added in an interview with Ajax’s official website: “I’ve learned a lot in this place. I’ve grown as a player here, becoming much stronger and more intelligent, as well as more composed on the ball.”
Although the Argentinian is only 5’9, his technical ability and game reading ensure that his height is rarely an impediment. When Daley Blind was a centre-back for United, he witnessed how this could be the case.
Martinez, who is rated at £28.8 million by Transfermarkt, would provide a different option than the current crop at Old Trafford, and signing him might help United make up for the mistake of allowing Blind to return to Ajax.