Erik ten Hag has already revealed next Manchester United move if they don’t sign 80million rated Dutch star
With less than a month left in the transfer season, Manchester United’s time to conclude their summer business is running out.
While Erik ten Hag’s squad has begun to take shape with the acquisitions of Tyrell Malacia, Christian Eriksen, and Lisandro Martinez, it is still far from the complete rebuild that was required, and additional additions are required. The new manager would like to bring in a right-back, a forward, a backup goalie, and, of course, a new midfielder.
Ten Hag recognized his former midfielder Frenkie de Jong as the ideal player to execute his style of football on United months ago, and to their credit, the club has supported their manager and pursued the transaction for months, no matter how difficult it has been. United and Barcelona have had an arrangement in place for some weeks, but it has come to an end.
De Jong has declared multiple times that he wishes to remain at Camp Nou. Barcelona has done everything in their power to force him out of the club or guilt-trip him into lowering his wages. Meanwhile, the ostensibly cash-strapped Catalans have spent millions on new players while owing the Dutchman millions in postponed pay.
It’s a dangerous scenario, and no one wants to be the first to blink. Ten Hag’s close friendship with De Jong gives United confidence to stay in the hunt, even though every public show implies he doesn’t want to move to Old Trafford, so they aren’t ready to walk away just yet. However, there is a very real potential that the window will close without United obtaining their man.
That prospect has intensified fan angst and clamoring for a replacement, with Wolves’ Ruben Neves and Leicester City’s Youri Tielemans being two of the most widely touted names. Senior United insiders have also claimed that there are back-up options, but Ten Hag has already stated that he only wants to sign the ‘perfect’ player and would rather develop someone currently at the club to fill De Jong’s role if he is unable to sign him.
“We’re searching for a holding midfielder,” Ten Hag stated last month, “but it needs to be the right one.” There aren’t many people in that position who can perform at the level we expect. When we can’t find him, we’ll have to make do with the players we have today, and we’ll develop one in that position.
“I will not react to a specific player.” We require the proper player. We have a list and qualify as the player who is qualified to play that job. We’ll strike as soon as the player becomes available.”
Scott McTominay and Fred look to be Ten Hag’s first picks for the holding midfield post, having started the bulk of the friendlies, including Saturday’s loss to Atletico Madrid. The midfield duo will very certainly remain in place for the first game against Brighton.
However, there are others who could fill the post. Eriksen was a double pivot in Brentford’s stunning comeback to football last season, generating flair from deep. Donny van de Beek has been aggressive in regaining possession of the ball this summer. With numerous composed cameos off the bench, Zidane Iqbal has been the pre-season breakthrough sensation, and James Garner looked sharp and capable when he finally got to start a match against Rayo Vallecano on Sunday. If De Jong is unable to arrive, one of those players may be tasked with taking over.