Manchester United have capped their transfer budget for Erik ten Hag at £120million, according to reports. And while the Dutchman would like three signings, it is claimed that he is ready to accept only three. The Red Devils are interested in Frenkie de Jong, while Lisandro Martinez and Antony have also been linked.
Manchester United know they have a big summer ahead of them.
After losing Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Lee Grant, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata and Edinson Cavani on free transfers, the Red Devils are determined to improve their squad.
They are reportedly ready to submit a second offer for De Jong as Barcelona previously turned down their opening offer which was worth around £52m.
And, now the Mirror says the club are working on a maximum budget of £120m this summer.
Previously, the Red Devils have spent more than that. Especially under Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
But with no Champions League football in store this season, given they finished sixth in the table under Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick last time out, they are now embarrassed.
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Ideally, Ten Hag would sign two full-backs, a centre-back, a defensive midfielder, a creative midfielder and a striker.
But with funds tight, it is claimed United are now agreeing to prioritize certain areas of their squad.
And a centre-back, striker and midfielder are now the Red Devils’ priorities as they seek a vastly improved campaign next season.
United are said to be targeting “less high-profile players who are hungry for the chance to prove themselves”.
It’s in stark contrast to previous years, when they opted for Galacticos such as Paul Pogba, Angel Di Maria, Alexis Sanchez and Radamel Falcao.
De Jong is their main target, although United and Barcelona are £10m apart on their valuations for the midfielder.
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It is said that Lisandro Martinez and striker Antony, who played under Ten Hag at Ajax, are also on the club’s radar.
And with the United hierarchy accepting their priorities, it will be interesting to see what deals they can get across the line.
United had been in the mix to sign Darwin Nunez, admiring the striker who scored 34 goals in all competitions for Benfica last season.
Yet he has now joined Liverpool instead after the Red Devils deemed his price tag too high.
United supremo Richard Arnold recently told fans at a local pub that “the money is there” to be spent on new players.
But the club still seem to be operating on a tight budget and won’t overpay, something they’ve done far too willingly in the past.
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Meanwhile, former United star Patrice Evra has opened up about his former side before the Ten Hag era.
And he insisted the club should have moved for Antonio Conte when they had the chance, before the Italian moved to Tottenham.
“It hurts my heart,” the France international told the Mirror.
“Because I think Conte, Klopp, Guardiola – all those managers are the best in the world right now and we could have had him at Manchester United.
“But some people at the club said, ‘That’s not our style, that’s not what we’re looking for.’
“So see, now we have Erik ten Hag. Let’s see what he will do.
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“He has my support. But then, even if you brought in a chef, as manager of Man United he would have my full support. »
And, on Conte in particular, he added: “It’s a huge disappointment because he could have done something for Man Utd.
“And you can see with Tottenham, he helped them qualify for the Champions League place.
“They have the same players, that’s why this manager is a genius. When I arrived at Juventus, every player told me: ‘Patrice, this guy is a genius.
“He’s addicted, he’s so passionate about football. So you’re going to run really hard. He’s going to make you sweat.
“But if you look at the Tottenham fans, they’re so happy because when they see the players now, whether they win or lose, they give it their all. That’s Antonio Conte’s mentality.”