Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag wants to sign Frenkie de Jong as a priority

Manchester United Manager Erik Ten Hag Wants To Sign Frenkie De Jong As A Priority

Erik ten Hag wants Manchester United to resolve Frenkie de Jong’s transfer urgently, as he considers the Dutch midfielder the key player in the style revolution he aims to bring to Old Trafford.

United’s new manager doesn’t want the club to spend transfer money on less important targets – even on out-of-contract players like Christian Eriksen – as he wants the bulk of the transfer budget to go to De Jong.

Once De Jong is signed by Barcelona, ​​he will decide which players he needs with the rest of the budget. That points to a new offer from United this week, with Barcelona demanding £69m, with United offering £56m.

Erik Ten Hag Is Looking Forward To Manchester United Signing Frenkie De Jong Urgently

Erik ten Hag is looking forward to Manchester United signing Frenkie de Jong urgently

United had expected Barca to be desperate to sell because of their perilous financial state and mounting debts of nearly £1bn. The Catalan club are due to file accounts with La Liga by the end of June, which will determine their spending limits next season, meaning a quick transfer seemed to be an advantage as it would help even out the bills.

However, Barca members last week approved a £600m fundraising deal, mortgaging a percentage of future TV rights and merchandising rights to cover most of the debt.

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Barca feel this will strengthen their hand in paying the full amount as they are now willing to bide their time. Despite their financial problems, they also remain confident of signing Robert Lewandowski, who still has a year to fulfill his contract with Bayern Munich.

Ten Hag Does Not Want The Club To Spend Transfer Money On Less Important Targets At This Stage

Ten Hag does not want the club to spend transfer money on less important targets at this stage

The Bundesliga champions are convinced he will have to see their deal. They are also hoping to run for Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva if De Jong leaves for £69m. They hope to spend that fee on Bernardo as a replacement and believe the player wants to join them, although he has three years left on his City contract, leaving Pep Guardiola in a strong negotiating position.

But the City boss has always said he will allow players to leave for the right price if they say they no longer wish to be at the club.

Ten Hag will be encouraged if United bid for De Jong again this week and close the deal, as the midfielder will be an integral part of the team’s new style of play, moving the ball like a midfield pivot.

This confirms that United will try to play much more Ajax-style, valuing possession more than they would under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick, with the defensive midfielder expected to be the nexus of creativity and not just a physical presence.

Ten Hag has other targets, Eriksen is the main one, but he only wants those deals signed when De Jong is confirmed. He doesn’t want to find out that United have signed two or three players and then say he doesn’t have enough money to meet De Jong’s assessment of Barca.

As such, United’s move to Feyenoord’s 22-year-old left-back Tyrell Malacia is expected to continue once the club is sure De Jong is coming.

Ten Hag wants a midfielder too, but it looks like Jurrien Timber will stay at Ajax, rejecting United’s offer because he wants to make sure he plays regular football in the run-up to the World Cup. In his time as coach of Ajax, Ten Hag used De Jong in deep midfield, the first point of possession for the central halves passing out.

However, De Jong immediately pushed, trying to progress 10-15 meters, to put his side on the front foot. Donny van de Beek, who is still at United and played for Ajax with De Jong, was theoretically a No 10 on that side but could slip into a deeper, more No 8-like role if De Jong was making runs for the front.

It indicates that Ten Hag will look to play 4-3-3 with United and assuming Cristiano Ronaldo will be the centre-forward, then Bruno Fernandes will have to adapt to a more versatile number 10 with more expectation of him in deeper positions. Eriksen would also be able to play this role and can offer more discipline.

With Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho expected to fill broad roles, Ten Hag will need more support besides Anthony Elanga, with Mason Greenwood still unavailable for selection and facing a bail hearing this week after being arrested on suspicion of rape and assault.

With Edinson Cavani gone, United will also need to sign another striker, with Anthony Martial uncertain and likely to leave.

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