Erik ten Hag sets out plans for Man Utd
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Christian Eriksen has handed Manchester United hope in their efforts to sign him on a free transfer by previously suggesting Champions League football ‘isn’t essential’ in his future decision. United have offered Eriksen a contract for when he becomes a free agent on July 1 but face serious competition from Tottenham Hotspur.
Erik ten Hag wants to add a creative midfielder to his newly-inherited squad at Old Trafford, and the 30-year-old fits the bill. After signing a short-term deal in January, he surprised many with his performance levels at Brentford, returning from his cardiac arrest during last summer’s European Championship.
And Eriksen is now ready to return to European football with a big summer switch, but not necessarily in the Champions League. While he has labelled playing in Europe’s elite competition ‘fun’, it doesn’t seem to be a critical piece of criteria for his next move.
“I have different offers and options, which we are considering, and then we make a decision,” Eriksen told Viaplay earlier this year. “I would love to play Champions League football again. I know how much fun it is, but it isn’t essential for me.”
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His comments will encourage United, who have seemingly moved first for the Denmark international’s services. But Tottenham, in these specific circumstances, would pose a daunting hurdle in the Red Devils’ interest, given what they can offer Eriksen.
He is thought to be content with living in London, and while a return to Spurs would open a gateway back into the Champions League next season, a switch to United wouldn’t. As with many other of the club’s targets, Antonio Conte could also be a significant factor, given that Eriksen left the Premier League to join him at Inter Milan in 2020.
Eriksen has a significant decision to make in the coming days, with Tottenham and other suitors likely to react to United’s formal approach. Despite some early reports suggesting he would be an alternative to top midfield target Frenkie de Jong, that isn’t understood to be the case.
United could view De Jong and Eriksen as fitting replacements for Paul Pogba and Juan Mata, who will also complete a free transfer on July 1 once their contracts expire. But if there was a destination currently the frontrunner for Eriksen’s signature, all signs point towards Tottenham.
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