Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has named six players that he hopes to sign next summer, reports the Manchester Evening News.
Ten Hag came to Old Trafford last summer, off the back of one of the club’s worst seasons in the modern era.
He has already faced several tricky tasks, from losing the first two games of the campaign to dealing with the Cristiano Ronaldo saga.
However, he has coped admirably. His side are third in the Premier League and have just lifted the Carabao Cup – their first trophy since the Europa League in 2017.
The Red Devils are looking to build on this success. According to the Manchester Evening News, the club want to bring in another goalscorer, while Ten Hag is also insistent on signing a new midfielder.
Frenkie de Jong
Last summer, Frenkie de Jong was at the heart of one of the longest-running transfer sagas of the window. United agreed a deal with Barcelona, but the player remained at Camp Nou.
The report claims that Ten Hag is open to making another bid for the midfielder. The Catalan giants need to reduce their wage bill, and De Jong is believed to be their highest earner.
The Dutchman has worked with Ten Hag before, spending one-and-a-half years together at Ajax. In that time, they won one Eredivisie title and one KNVB cup while reaching the Champions League semi-finals in 2019.
It will come as little surprise that Man United are eyeing up a central midfielder. Casemiro and Christian Eriksen are 31, while Fred turns 30 next week.
Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham is arguably the most sought-after young midfielder on the planet. Aged just 19, the England international is already producing consistent top-class performances.
The teenager is the top scorer for his club this season in all competitions, netting ten. Additionally, he was a standout for the Three Lions at the World Cup, scoring their first goal and earning plenty of praise for his displays.
If they make a move, United would face tough competition for Bellingham. He has been linked with several of Europe’s biggest clubs, including Real Madrid and Liverpool.
When it comes to proven Premier League strikers, there aren’t many better options than Harry Kane. Over the weekend, the England captain scored his 201st top-flight goal – a tally bettered only by Alan Shearer and Wayne Rooney.
Despite this, it is well-documented that the forward is yet to win a trophy in his career. If he decides to leave Tottenham Hotspur in pursuit of silverware, Ten Hag’s improving side could be the right destination for him.
Kane’s contract expires in 2024. If he renews, Spurs would demand a massive fee for him. If he doesn’t, they may look to offload him while he still has value.
The biggest concern over the 29-year-old is his age. While he would undeniably improve the Red Devils in the short term, they may need a replacement soon.
If Kane’s age proves to be a dealbreaker for United, they may turn to Victor Osimhen instead. The Nigerian has been a promising prospect for a few years and has reached a new level this term.
Osimhen has bagged 19 goals in 20 league games, firing the Azzurri to a commanding 18-point lead at the top of Serie A. He is the second-top scorer in Europe’s top five leagues this campaign, behind only Erling Haaland.
The 24-year-old is a known target for the 20-time English champions. It is believed that he would attract a fee of over £100 million if he moves this summer.
The third striker on Ten Hag’s wish list is Benfica’s Goncalo Ramos. He is younger than Kane and Osimhen and would likely be the cheapest of the three, but he is also the least proven.
The Portuguese is in the midst of his breakthrough season, scoring 19 goals at club level. His early season form was enough to earn him his international debut and a place in Fernando Santos’ World Cup squad.
And he managed to impress in Qatar. Ramos was handed his first start of the tournament in the round of 16 against Switzerland, and he netted a hat-trick and registered an assist in a comfortable 6-1 victory.
With Marcus Rashford in the form of his life, Antony impressing in his debut season, Jadon Sancho getting back to his best, and Alejandro Garnacho emerging, there may not be much more room for wingers at Old Trafford. If they decide to bring in another, Ajax’s Mohammed Kudus could be the right man.
The 22-year-old has announced himself this year with several standout performances. He scored four and assisted two in the Champions League group stages, including finishes against Napoli and Liverpool.
And, while Ghana were eliminated in the group stages at the World Cup, Kudus was still able to give us a glimpse of his best stuff. It was in the Black Stars’ second game when he shone, hitting a brace to defeat South Korea 3-2.
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