Manchester United ‘will hand Erik ten Hag a SUBSTANTIAL transfer budget’ this summer, with ‘plans to sign Harry Kane, Declan Rice and John McGinn’… as a dozen players face the axe at Old Trafford to free up wage bill space
- Manchester United want Harry Kane, Declan Rice and John McGinn this summer
- The Red Devils are closing in on a deal to make Erik ten Hag their new manager
- It’s claimed the Dutchman will be given huge funds to spend when he arrives
- A new striker and an overhaul in midfield are thought to be United’s priorities
Manchester United will reportedly hand incoming manager Erik ten Hag ‘substantial funds’ to overhaul his squad this summer with plans to launch moves for Harry Kane, Declan Rice and John McGinn.
As Sportsmail reported on Wednesday night, the Red Devils are closing in on a deal to make the Ajax boss their new manager.
Talks have been held with the Dutch club to establish the terms for Ten Hag’s release as United take a significant step towards appointing the 52-year-old as the long-term replacement for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Manchester United will reportedly hand Erik ten Hag ‘substantial funds’ to overhaul his squad
Harry Kane and Declan Rice are United’s two main targets with a striker and midfielder needed
Those discussions took place at the end of last week and indicate that United are now ready to press ahead with bringing in Ten Hag, whose Ajax contract expires at the end of next season.
One of the most pressing tasks is an overhaul of the playing squad, given there are a number of areas that need upgrading and players to replace at Old Trafford this summer.
Ten Hag reportedly gave United a list of potential transfer targets – including a number of his Ajax stars – should he get the role when he was interviewed by them last month.
Now The Telegraph are reporting Ten Hag will get a war chest to use in the transfer market this summer – even if United miss out on Champions League football next season.
United are currently seventh in the Premier League and three points behind top-four rivals Tottenham and Arsenal – with a mouth-watering clash at the Emirates still to come.
The Old Trafford hierarchy will also make funds available from the sales of fringe players and the release of wages committed to players who are out of contract this summer.
Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Edinson Cavani are among those expected to depart Old Trafford and that would free up significant funds that will be reinvested into the playing squad.
It’s claimed that United have already produced a list of potential transfer targets that will be shown to Ten Hag when he is formally appointed. He will also have the chance to offer up his own suggestions.
Ten Hag (right) is set to beat Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino (left) to the job
Among the top targets are Kane and Rice – two of England’s leading lights and Premier League stars who play in positions that United are in desperate need of improvement in.
Kane was heavily linked with a move to Manchester City last summer but Spurs managed to resist their interest and kept hold of him. Whether he wants to leave now Antonio Conte is at the club remains to be seen, plus Daniel Levy is thought to have slapped a £100m price tag on his star man.
A move for Rice is more likely, given the West Ham midfielder’s desire to play Champions League football.
Rice has been linked with a return to youth team Chelsea, although it is unclear what funds Thomas Tuchel will have to spend when the successor to Roman Abramovich eventually takes over.
If moves for Kane and Rice don’t work out then Aston Villa’s Scottish midfielder John McGinn is another midfield option for the Red Devils.
Jude Bellingham is also of interest but it is unlikely Borussia Dortmund would allow him to leave Germany in the same summer as Erling Haaland – who is expected to join Manchester City or Real Madrid.
It is unlikely Dortmund would allow Jude Bellingham and Erling Haaland to go in one summer
Among the Ajax stars that Ten Hag would be interested in is highly-rated Dutchman Ryan Gravenberch – although Bayern Munich are thought to be leading the race to land his signature.
Right back Noussair Mazraoui and Brazilian winger Anthony are also two of Ajax’s key players but they are both wanted by a host of clubs around Europe.
The compensation payment for Ten Hag would be just over £1.6m — significantly less than Paris Saint-Germain’s demand to release the other main candidate for the role, Mauricio Pochettino.
Sportsmail exclusively revealed Ten Hag was a leading contender for the job in November, before breaking the news of his interview for the post last month.
United’s process to choose Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s permanent successor has been described as ‘advanced’, although club sources stressed on Wednesday night that they are yet to reach a definitive decision on the new boss.
Ajax midfielder Ryan Gravenberch is also an option but Bayern Munich are closing in on him
They do have a call to make on the timing of their announcement, given Ten Hag’s job at Ajax and his workload until the end of the season.
Ajax are four points clear of PSV Eindhoven at the top of the Dutch league and United want to be respectful. Unveiling Ten Hag before the Eredivisie title race has been concluded could be seen as disruptive.
Equally, Ten Hag may view persistent rumours about his future as a distraction to his players and instead prefer a quick announcement.
Sevilla manager Julen Lopetegui is now seen as a distant outsider for the United post, while there were clear pitfalls with appointing Luis Enrique, given the former Barcelona boss is taking charge of Spain at the World Cup in Qatar later this year.
Pochettino, who like Ten Hag has 12 months remaining on his contract, has long had admirers at Old Trafford but the Paris Saint-Germain job has proved to be a tough assignment.
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