Erik ten Hag's Man Utd in-tray
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Erik ten Hag is anxious to conclude planning talks with Manchester United, according to reports. The Red Devils are set to unveil the Dutchman as their new manager in the next 48 hours. And the fallen Premier League giants are hopeful the 52-year-old can reel in the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City going forward.
According to The Mirror, Ten Hag will be unveiled as United’s new boss in the next 48 hours.
It was confirmed last month that the Dutchman would be taking over at Old Trafford, having beaten the likes of Mauricio Pochettino, Luis Enrique and Julen Lopetegui to the role.
Steve McClaren is also poised to be presented, while it’s possible Mitchell van der Gaag will as well with the Ajax coach following Ten Hag to England.
It’s claimed Ten Hag is ‘anxious’ to conclude planning with the Red Devils as he sets his sights on a summer spending spree.
Ten Hag wants to concentrate on analysing players he thinks can fit into his system, with the 52-year-old apparently planning on modelling the club’s playing style on Ajax.
He won three league titles during his time in the Eredivisie, transforming Ajax into a team to be reckoned with at both domestic and European level.
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Ten Hag has handed the United hierarchy a list of players he wants to bring to Old Trafford as he targets success at the first time of asking.
A key priority is said to be bringing more ‘energy’ to a group who have struggled to adjust to the pressing demands of interim boss Ralf Rangnick.
However, he’s poised to be priced out of deals for Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt.
Ten Hag will have to stick to a budget at United, though is hoping to bring in five or six fresh faces to freshen up the team.
Yet Barcelona and Juventus are primed to demand too much money in order to let De Jong and De Ligt leave their respective teams.
De Ligt is locked in talks with Juventus over a new contract – but wants the club to lower his release clause.
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Upon moving to the Old Lady from Ajax back in the summer transfer window of 2019, the Netherlands international had a clause worth £102m put into his contract.
But he now wants that lowered to £70m in order to commit his future to the Italian giants.
Ten Hag is now likely to look elsewhere.
And United have been linked with players in different positions as the end of the current campaign creeps closer.
At the back, the Red Devils have interest in the likes of Jurrien Timber and Pau Torres – while Manuel Akanji has been linked as well.
In midfield, as well as De Jong, the Red Devils admire Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips.
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And, in attack, Antony and Darwin Nunez are two players Ten Hag has on his radar as he looks to ease the goalscoring burden on Cristiano Ronaldo.
Meanwhile, as Ten Hag prepares to take over, Jaap Stam has backed the Dutchman to turn the club around.
“At the moment they’re struggling,” said the former defender, who won the treble with the Red Devils in 1999.
“You feel that – and that’s me being in Holland the majority of the time – everybody around the world is talking about United, how they’re playing and what they’re doing and that they want to have success.
“Erik has been doing well in Holland and everybody knows that as well. That’s why he got the job at United of course.
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“We also need to understand that in the league in Holland the quality of the majority of teams is a lot less than how Ajax is but still you need to produce, so that’s still a very good thing that he’s done.
“Now he’s been given the chance to try to do the same at United and hopefully he can do.
“But he understands, and he knows as well, that the Premier League is totally different – the people, the press, the expectations, the pressure – to how it was in Holland.
“For him that’s going to be a learning curve but it’s very important that the club and the owners are backing him up in terms of personnel.
“United have got good players. Yeah, some of them might need to go but they need to bring in several other players as well, so they can get unity within that squad, play in a certain way.
“The philosophy in how he wants to play is of course very important. That’s why they chose Erik. Hopefully he can show that.”
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