No one can deny that incoming Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag faces a massive assignment, but a £120 million summer transfer budget is a good place to start.
The Ajax manager was officially confirmed as Manchester United’s next permanent manager this week, taking over from interim coach Ralf Rangnick in the summer.
The club identified the highly-rated Dutchman as the man to ultimately turn their fortunes around, and he signed a three-year contract at Old Trafford.
Despite an estimated £1 billion investment in playing staff, the Manchester giants have failed to contend for football’s top honors since Sir Alex Ferguson’s illustrious tenure ended in 2013.
United, who have gone five years without a trophy, will be keen for 52-year-old Ten Hag to end the drought, and The Times reports that his ammunition has already been decided.
The Dutchman will be granted £120 million to reshape his squad, and rumors suggest that Ten Hag may not be the only one making the move from the Netherlands to Manchester.
Ten Hag intends to make moves for players from his Eredivisie and Champions League contending sides in Holland, as well as an England international.
Following a humiliating 4-0 loss to Liverpool last time out, interim manager Rangnick suggested as many as ten players may leave, with Paul Pogba, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Nemanja Matic, and Edinson Cavani all due to leave when their present contracts end this summer.
Ten Hag claimed in his first interview with the Dutch media since his job was announced for next season that he would not have taken the job if he didn’t have a say in moves.
“Before I arrive, I make expectations,” he added. “If the club does not grant them, I will not accept the position.”
“I am the one who is accountable, and I am the one who will be judged by the consequences.” I don’t want to be a dictator; I’m willing to collaborate, but having a say in transfers is a prerequisite.”
Those negotiations are said to have already begun, with Ten Hag attempting to get two of his present players on an aircraft to England.
According to reports, the exciting Brazilian winger Antony, as well as Argentine center back Lisandro Martinez, are being lined up for £55 million.
With defender Matthijs de Ligt failing at Juventus and potentially available, the pair might be joined by one of the stars of Ten Hag’s squad that nearly made the 2019 Champions League final.
Donny van de Beek, another player from that legendary run, will return from his loan spell with Everton and might create a midfield partnership with an England international.
The club is still interested in West Ham’s Declan Rice, according to the Times, but the Hammers are staying hard on a £150 million asking price, with Leeds’ Kalvin Phillips regarded as an alternative.
Van van Beek might be joined in midfield by Bruno Fernandes and Scott McTominay, who has been listed as current squad players to build around, as well as Raphael Varane, David de Gea, Marcus Rashford, and Jadon Sancho.
During his time in the Netherlands, Ten Hag was a regular proponent of a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 formation, and here’s how that could look with the stars he wants to deploy.