It is a busy, expensive and crucial summer transfer window for Manchester United.
Erik ten Hag witnessed with his own eyes the true extent of the work he accepted when he saw it United slip to yet another defeat on the final day of the season to Crystal Palace. It was a fitting end to the club’s disastrous campaign, as they recorded their lowest Premier League score of just 58.
Even if United were to keep their current squad intact, they would need some quality reinforcements in the offseason, but that is far from the case as they face an exit. At least five players – Paul Pogba, Edinson Cavani, Jesse Lingard, Nemanja Matic and Lee Grant will leave when their contracts expire and Juan Mata is likely to join them, although there is room for a late turnaround with talks arranged with Ten Hag.
Additionally, Dean Henderson is approaching a move to Newcastle United, Aaron Wan-Bissaka is free to leave and the futures of Cristiano Ronaldo, Anthony Martial, Donny van de Beek, Eric Bailly, Phil Jones and even Marcus Rashford all remain high. the air. United could look at more than 10 exits this summer.
It will take a lot of work to bring the quality and quantity needed to rebuild the squad, with many positions needing attention. Midfielder is the priority, with two signatures being ideal, while central defender, right defender, striker and winger are all targeted as well.
With United not exactly famous for their efficiency in the market, it would be a small miracle if every position were filled, so it is important that the most important signatures are made as soon as possible – but who are they? MEN Sport writers estimated who should be the club’s first signing under Ten Hag.
United are likely to pursue five new signings this summer and it probably doesn’t really matter in what order they come, but it may make sense to try to deal with the most expensive one first. It is clear that United have a limited budget this summer due to the absence of Champions League football and that strengthening a central midfielder is the absolute top priority.
A deal for a central defender may be easier to do, but it might also be easier for United to tie a midfielder and then see how much is left in the kitten for a defender, forward, right-back and whatever other Ten Hag could. will. It seems likely that Calvin Phillips would have chosen elsewhere, as Manchester City are now interested and joining United is a difficult sale for a keen Leeds fan. United should however have alternatives and reaching an agreement over the line should be a priority.
United have assigned a new midfielder as their “biggest” issue this summer, but that doesn’t mean it will be their first.
A move for Calvin Phillips is hampered by the fact that Leeds have stayed on top and Man City are also interested, while Declan Rice is far too expensive this summer. Frank de Jong would be a great addition, but it would raise questions about his own ambition if he were willing to join United.
However, signing a new central defender should not be so difficult. Jurrien Timber and Pau Torres are both interested in the club and both would be allowed to move this summer if a suitable offer comes in. Quickly also getting a new central defender is probably wise as well, considering that they will have to form a partnership with anyone. is selected by Ten Hag to start the season and it gives the club plenty of time to change those pluses to requirements.
Torres has been tracked down for almost 18 months now, while Wood is a new name on the radar. At just 20 years old, the Ajax defender is probably the best bet, as there would be less pressure on him to hit the ground running.
Ralf Rangnick has repeatedly stated how United lacked numbers in previous areas, given the Mason Greenwood situation, Anthony Martial’s loan spell and Edinson Cavani’s injury. And while that department doesn’t look improving, and although United’s defense has been ridiculously porous in the just-concluded season, there’s little doubt that midfield should be Ten Hag’s priority this summer.
Who better than De Jong to sign to really signify United’s intentions in this summer market? A real marquee addition, but one that fits the style of the manager like a hand in a glove. United would have to pull all the stops to bring the Barcelona man to Manchester; it would be their most expensive and highest caliber signing of the summer, but the club may find getting De Jong allows all the other pieces to fall into play.
Almost every area needs reinforcement this summer but none as urgently as midfield. Not only does United lack the options in the center of the park, but few of the ones they do have will fit the possession-oriented style Ten Hag will seek to implement. Accurate passersby, compound carriers and creative sparks are needed and fast.
Agreements for the goals that United looked at in the position – De Jong, Rice, Phillips – all look incredibly difficult to achieve, so instead the club should do everything possible to sign Christian Eriksen.
The Dane has proved that he is still a world-class operator despite everything he has experienced and, if he decides to move on from Brentford, will be available for nothing.
United will have to make a move as soon as possible, as there will definitely be a lot of people interested. Lack of Champions League football may be expensive again, but perhaps the allure of working for a manager who would fit his style perfectly can be a pretty big draw.