Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag in agreement with John Murtough over two defender signings

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Manchester United duo Erik ten Hag and John Murtough are both in agreement when it comes to Jurrien Timber transfer alternatives, according to reports. The Netherlands international had, until recently, been expected to move to Old Trafford. But, now, he’s primed to stay at Ajax instead amid fears switching to the Premier League will damage his hopes of making his country’s World Cup squad later in the year.

Manchester United want to add a new centre-back to their squad this summer.

While Ten Hag is content to have Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane and Victor Lindelof at his disposal, the club are open to jettisoning Eric Bailly, Axel Tuanzebe and Phil Jones.

United had been expected to land Timber but that’s now unlikely, with the Ajax star reluctant to move as the World Cup in Qatar creeps ever closer.

And the Manchester Evening News say Ten Hag and Murtough are in agreement when it comes to two potential alternatives.

One name in the frame is Pau Torres, of Villarreal.

The Spain international was linked with a move to Old Trafford 12 months ago, having flourished amid his side’s Europa League final triumph.

But United ended up opting against Torres, settling for the arrival of Varane from Real Madrid instead.

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The Villarreal star was recently quizzed on his future and said: ”I have the peace of mind of being where they want me, where I have a valid contract and a renewal offer.

“The future will tell what happens but I am very calm, I do not look further and it is time to disconnect.

“It has been two years very good at Villarreal, we have competed with the best at European level which is what every player wants.

“And if, in addition, you do it in your town’s team, it’s bigger.”

Torres then added: “It’s something I’ve always talked about with the president, that different situations could arise.

“The club loves me and I am very grateful. I know that I can stay here for many more years because the affection is mutual.

“We’ll see what we decide.”


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And another player both Ten Hag and Murtough have added to United’s shortlist is Braga defender David Carmo.

Carmo is relatively unknown on these shores but, over in Portugal, is held in high regard.

United have signed some gems from the Primeira Liga over the years, such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani and Bruno Fernandes.

And, if Carmo ends up moving to the club, he’ll challenge the likes of Varane, Maguire and Lindelof for a starting berth.

The publication adds that United want as many as five fresh faces this summer.

Frenkie de Jong remains their priority, with negotiations with Barcelona ongoing as the Red Devils look to land the 25-year-old for a reasonable fee.

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Antony is also in United’s sights and could solve their issues on the right-wing.

And Christian Eriksen is still being targeted, with the Denmark international a free agent following the expiry of his Brentford contract.

Meanwhile, United supremo Richard Arnold has taken aim at the club’s recent recruitment during a conversation with fans at a local pub.

“We spent a billion pounds on players. We have spent more than anyone in Europe,” he said.

“I’m not thrilled where we are. It doesn’t sit easy with me and I worry how we get this sorted for the future.

“What’s happened is we have [expletive] burned through cash. You can’t go to our training ground and say ‘show me where the £1billion is’ because we haven’t spent money well historically.

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“I’m not here to defend (chairman) Joel (Glazer). He must speak for himself.

“But you have taken the time to come here and make your views known – and I respect that.

“We’ve blown through an enormous amount of money. For this summer, the money the manager and the director of football (John Murtough) wants is there.

“For the future, for investing in a new stadium and a latest-and-greatest training ground we’ve got to do something. We’ve got to get investors in. I need that to do what I want for the club. I’ve got to have more cash now because no club in the world has the money to build a new stadium.

“You either borrow it or invest it. The money has got to come from somewhere. You might not like our current owners – I can’t help that.

“But if you want someone else to come in they will see that the fans love the team and that is positive. But last year was a [expletive] nightmare. There was hate at every game.”

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