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Manchester United expected to target Ajax sensation Jorrel Hato as long as Erik ten Hag remains manager

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is keen to sign Ajax defender Jorrel Hato, according to The Athletic.

The Red Devils need to invest in two centre-backs amid Lisandro Martinez’s injury record and Raphael Varane’s expected departure at the end of the campaign.

The futures of Harry Maguire and Jonny Evans at the Old Trafford club are also far from certain, and Man United are scouring Europe for new central defenders.

Ten Hag has often looked at players based in his native Netherlands when recruiting, and it is believed Hato has done enough to impress.

The 17-year-old is a left-sided centre-back who also plays as a left-back, and Arsenal have him on their radar.

The Gunners could not sign him last month but are desperate to secure his services and they are following him closely as they believe he is a special talent, according to Fabrizio Romano.

Hato is very comfortable on the ball, has already played for the Netherlands senior international team and sometimes captains Ajax despite his age.

His passing and technical ability when receiving the ball is similar to Martinez, and while both may be unable to play together if signed, the fact that Hato can also play purely as a left-back makes him an option Man United could seriously consider.

The teenage sensation has featured in 26 games this term, weighing in with a goal and two assists, and he has the potential to play for the Red Devils given his huge talent and prospects.

He could prove to be a long-term option given his age, and his ambition to play in the Premier League should make convincing him easy.

However, Man United will face fierce competition from Arsenal if they pursue Hato, and more suitors are expected to emerge ahead of the summer transfer window.