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14/06/2023 21:50

De Jonɡ and Kane siɡn, Maɡᴜiгe sold – Man Utd һave a dгeaṃ tгansfeг window

Erik ten Hag is desperate to make a splash in this summer’s transfer window and Manchester United, still in the midst of a tedious takeover saga, are braced for a busy few months

The summer transfer window is now officially open – and Manchester United have big plans.

Erik ten Hag started phase one of his rebuild strongly, ending the Red Devils’ six-year trophy drought and securing Champions League football in his first season. But look at their noisy, treble-winning neighbours and it’s clear to see that there’s still a long way to go until United can have anything to shout about.

As ever, the Red Devils are being linked with countless names and it all comes amid the club’s ongoing takeover saga which the Glazers are orchestrating, trying to sell for the maximum price and end their 17-year stay. Whether it be Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani or Sir Jim Ratcliffe succeeding them, they’ll have Ten Hag in their ear pleading for new signings – and perhaps pushing for exits.

Here, Mirror Football maps out United’s dream summer transfer window.

Ten Hag finally gets De Jong

If you haven’t realised that Manchester United want to sign Frenkie de Jong, you probably think Ralf Rangnick’s still on the touchline. Since he first learned that he was getting the job, Erik ten Hag set his sights on a reunion with De Jong, who he worked with at Ajax and enjoyed a great deal success.

A huge fan of the Dutch midfielder’s profile, Ten Hag instructed the United hierarchy to begin a transfer assault last summer. Barcelona were open to selling him, later agreeing a fee with the Red Devils worth £63million, but it was De Jong who dug his heels in and scuppered Ten Hag’s chances, prompting United to shell out £70m on Casemiro.

Frenkie de Jong would prefer to remain with Barcelona

Frenkie de Jong would prefer to remain with Barcelona (Image:

David Ramos/Getty Images)
The Netherlands international, 26, has made it clear that he still wants to stay at Barca after winning the LaLiga title last season, but the club’s financial predicament could ultimately force him out. De Jong is owed millions in deferred wages and if the same behind-the-scenes issues persist at the Camp Nou, it might finally be enough to convince him to join Ten Hag’s revolution.

Ten Hag’s midfield could even be further freshened up signing Mason Mount, too. The Chelsea star is also reported to have agreed personal terms with United chiefs, although there’s the small matter of a transfer fee still to be negotiated with their Premier League rivals.

Kane race won

As much as Ten Hag will feel that he needs Frenkie de Jong to improve United, they need a striker even more. The Red Devils’ lack of a reliable goalscorer last term proved to be their Achilles’ heel on too many occasions and Harry Kane is the man who can surely solve their problems in the penalty area.

Scorer of a whopping 30 league goals in a weak Tottenham team, few would argue that Kane would instantly move Ten Hag’s side up a level. The England captain is once again mulling over his future, with United in the hunt alongside Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, who also need a new No.9.

Yes, Victor Osimhen and Randal Kolo Muani would be good options, too, but it’s Kane who Ten Hag wants more. Daniel Levy will, of course, be difficult to negotiate with and it may well take £100m to prise the Spurs hero away from North London, but it’s hard to argue he wouldn’t be worth it.

Harry Kane's future at Tottenham is once again under the microscope

Harry Kane’s future at Tottenham is once again under the microscope (Image: Getty Images)

Maguire moves on

Speaking of Tottenham, they could come to United’s aid in another respect: signing Harry Maguire. Despite being a sound presence whenever called upon last season, it’s becoming evident that the Red Devils captain has no future under Ten Hag, who’s preferred four other players at centre-back.

Maguire has been urged to leave by supporters and pundits alike, a sad indictment of his Old Trafford career after a solid first two seasons following his £80m move from Leicester in 2019. It’s fair to say that the 30-year-old need a fresh start, just as Spurs are embarking on under Ange Postecoglou.

Harry Maguire is surplus to requirements at Manchester United

Harry Maguire is surplus to requirements at Manchester United (Image: PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Although he lacks pace and sharpness in some situation, Maguire’s ability on the ball and leadership could be ideal for Tottenham’s new-look defence. Not only would United would likely be able to recoup a decent fee, just as they also could for the likes of Fred and Scott McTominay, it’d also be another decisive move by Ten Hag and allow Maguire to get more minutes before Euro 2024.

De Gea gets a challenger

David de Gea may’ve agreed a new contract at Old Trafford, but his future as No.1 between the post is uncertain. Despite winning the Premier League Golden Glove award, the long-serving Spaniard made a series of errors throughout the campaign, never fully convincing fans.

Ten Hag remained faithful throughout the season but this summer provides an opportunity to freshen things up, with Porto’s Diogo Costa a prime candidate to come in and challenge De Gea. Even Dean Henderson could U-turn on his plans to leave for Nottingham Forest on a permanent basis and stay to battle his senior goalkeeper for the gloves.

Not only would it give De Gea more reason to improve and work on his deficiencies, but it’d help United in their bid to avoid a looming threat: an ageing squad.

Have your say! Who should Manchester United sign this summer? Join the debate in the comments section.

Future-proofing the squad

Finally, what’d top the summer window off for the Red Devils would be to ensure that they start planning for the future. Any new owners will be in it for the long haul and so is Ten Hag, but certain players won’t be.

De Gea is 32 while preferred midfield pairing Casemiro and Christian Eriksen are both 31. Raphael Varane, Fred and Maguire are all 30, with Bruno Fernandes and Victor Lindelof each closing in on their 29th birthday.

United’s ageing spine is cause for concern, particularly if Kane arrives and before turning 30 in July. Ten Hag and co must future-proof the senior squad by making sure to acquire elite young talent, and young stars such as Atalanta striker Rasmus Hojlund and Ajax defender Jurrien Timber would do just that, as the Red Devils look to get back on top and stay there.

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