It has taken a while, but Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United blueprint is finally beginning to take shape.
The Dutchman has been in situ since the end of May, recognising the groundwork required to pick the Red Devils up after their worst ever Premier League season. Ten Hag got a first-hand glimpse of the current squad’s failings when he took in the final day defeat at the hands of Crystal Palace.
And though he was keen to emphasise that this team finished second in 2020/21, the noises behind the scenes painted a different picture. Following on from the disastrous final days of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the misguided interim reign of Ralf Rangnick, the former Ajax boss will need to quickly implement his style on his new charges.
Changes are already being felt at the club’s Carrington training base, with early starts and double sessions set to become the norm in his first pre-season in charge. And his influence on United is set to grow further with his first signings poised to come through the door.
Frenkie de Jong has long been reported as Ten Hag’s top target, with the Barcelona midfielder earmarked as the centre-piece of the ambitious Old Trafford overhaul. But despite the Blaugrana’s financial woes, they have played hardball in negotiations, refusing to allow the Netherlands international to leave for less than their own valuation.
That staunch view has meant protracted negotiations, but United look to have finally ceded to Barcelona’s demands, with a broad agreement now set to be in place. And one could quickly become two after a fee was agreed to sign Feyenoord defender Tyrell Malacia.
Lyon had looked set to land the 22-year-old before United intervened and matched the Dutch club’s £15m valuation “The agreement is there,” Feyenoord sporting director Frank Arnesen confirmed. “We are now waiting for Tyrell [Malacia]. If he says yes, then a transfer to Man United is imminent.” – MirrorOnlineRead Full Story