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Erik ten Hag opens up on striker plans, David de Gea & Harry Maguire

In an exclusive interview with The Times, Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag spoke about his striker plans as well as the futures of David de Gea and Harry Maguire.

United have been hugely impressive in Ten Hag’s maiden season in charge. They have already won a trophy and recently booked their spot in next season’s Champions League.

The club will be aiming for more silverware when they face Manchester City in the FA Cup final on June 3.

Ahead of the derby, Ten Hag has spoken to The Times. The Dutch tactician was asked about different topics including his plans to pursue another striker this summer.

Ten Hag recently admitted that he would like to bring in a new centre-forward. He mentioned the same by saying that the club need an extra player with scoring abilities.

He said: “What we need besides Marcus Rashford is one extra player with scoring abilities whether it’s coming out of our own squad or we have to sign one.”

Meanwhile, the 53-year-old refused to confirm that David de Gea will be his permanent number one next season and said that there must be competition for places.

He added: “Yes, but I will not say he’ll always be my No 1 because in a club like Man United there must be competition in all positions. You can’t do it with 11 players. It is impossible. You need double positions.”

When pressed on Maguire’s future, Ten Hag acknowledged that the centre-back may not be happy with his limited minutes and added that the 30-year-old will decide his future.

He further said: “No one would be happy with this situation. He is not as well. He trains always on best levels, so with 100 per cent effort. So he handles that situation well.”

“He’s in that manner and in his captaincy he’s important for the squad. Let’s say I’m happy he’s here and when we needed him he did his job. But it’s also a decision he has to make.”

United currently have Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane as the priority target to bolster the strike force but Spurs remain reluctant to sanction his sale to a direct Premier League rival.

Elsewhere, De Gea’s position in goal is pretty much safe and he is expected to pen a new deal. However, the club could sign a young successor such as Bert Verbruggen this summer.

Maguire, on the other hand, looks likely to leave United amid fears of losing his spot with the national side. United could bring in a marquee replacement in the form of Kim Min-jae.

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