Manchester United might assemble a frightening starting lineup this summer if manager Erik ten Hag is granted a large transfer budget and can persuade Borussia Dortmund to trade Jude Bellingham for more than £100 million. Ten Hag will try to capitalize on his debut season at Old Trafford by signing Harry Kane, David Raya, Jeremie Frimpong, and Kim Min-jae this summer. Express Sport examines how United would line up if Ten Hag is given the funds to bring in his ideal targets.
David Raya plays at goal.
Brentford have placed a £35 million price tag on goalkeeper David Raya’s head as Premier League clubs continue to show interest. The 27-year-old is entering the final year of his contract and might be sold this summer.
This season for Brentford, the Spaniard has been brilliant with his shot-stopping and has looked at ease with the ball at his feet. United would have to beat off Chelsea and Tottenham for Raya’s signature. Raya might force David De Gea out of the lineup because of his failure to play the ball out from the back.
Luke Shaw is the left-back.
Despite being sidelined with a hamstring injury, Luke Shaw has established himself as a regular at left-back under Ten Hag this season. The England international was temporarily replaced by Tyrell Malacia in September, but he has since recovered and committed his future to United by signing a four-year contract.
Kim Min-jae is the center back.
United could make a move for Napoli defender Kim Min-jae, according to the Daily Mail, who claims the centre-back has a £39 million release clause. The South Korean has been instrumental in Napoli’s dominance of Serie A this season.
Napoli, on the other hand, might scupper any transfer by offering him a new contract with a greater release clause.
Raphael Varane is the center back.
Raphael Varane, a French star, joined the club from Real Madrid in the summer of 2021 and has established himself as a reliable central defender with Lisandro Martinez.
Both players might prevent Min-jae from making the team at Old Trafford if United decides to sign the South Korean and cause Ten Hag a transfer headache.
Right back: Jeremie Frimpong
Ten Hag is expected to hunt for a right-back this summer, with a move for Jeremie Frimpong on the cards. Bayer Leverkusen have already identified a replacement in the form of Brazilian prodigy Arthur, which may allow Frimpong to join United for a reasonable fee.
Frimpong is well-versed in the city, having moved to Manchester from Amsterdam at the age of seven and joining the Manchester City youth program. The 22-year-old joined Celtic in 2019 before moving to Leverkusen for £10 million in 2021.
Anthony: Right wing
Anthony, a Brazilian winger, has become a regular starter out wide for United this season and might offer goals for a dangerous No.9 next season.
The former Ajax midfielder joined United in the summer on a five-year contract that cost the Red Devils £82 million in transfer fees plus £4.27 million in add-ons.
Jude Bellingham, center midfield:
Ten Hag has huge ideas for the United midfield this summer, and charging Jude Bellingham for more than £100 million would send a strong message to their title rivals.
Liverpool have dropped out of the competition to recruit the brilliant midfielder, but Real Madrid and Manchester City might derail United’s plans.
Casemiro plays in the central midfield.
After an impressive debut season at Old Trafford, Casemiro might play alongside Bellingham in United’s midfield next season. Last season, the 31-year-old signed a four-year contract with the Red Devils after joining from Real Madrid.
United paid a hefty cost of £60 million for the midfielder, who has spent the majority of his career with Real Madrid.
Bruno Fernandes is the attacking midfielder.
Christian Eriksen has established himself as an important member of Manchester United’s midfield this season, but he would almost certainly be the fall guy if Bellingham joined.
Bruno Fernandes is still United’s go-to man and has been a consistent performer once again this season, especially since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Marcus Rashford, left wing:
Marcus Rashford has rekindled his Old Trafford career this season, becoming United’s main man with 28 goals in all competitions.
Rashford could miss the final run-in this season after it was confirmed that the 25-year-old would miss ‘a few games’ after suffering a muscle injury against Everton last weekend.
Harry Kane, striker
Tottenham Hotspur legend Harry Kane is said to be interested in a move to Old Trafford this season. United are in need of a No.9 and are unlikely to sign Wout Weghorst on a permanent basis, while Anthony Martial is set to depart.
United, on the other hand, would have to pay a high asking price for Kane, while Napoli striker Victor Osimhen may be another costly possibility.