Man Utd can cherrypick four relegated stars as unlikely Erik ten Hag transfer solutions
Ralf Rangnick feels win over Brentford was among best Man Utd displays under him
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Much has already been made of Manchester United’s pursuit of new recruits following the appointment of Erik ten Hag but the club will have to shop smartly if they’re to successfully overhaul their squad before the start of the new season. The Red Devils could be set to make up to 10 new signings but given you would expect several marquee additions, there must also be an openness to explore cut-price bargains. With two other clubs set to join Norwich in the Championship, there are without doubt some hidden gems to be mined from the relegation zone…
Max Aarons – Norwich
Perhaps the most obvious target of the lot given United are expected to explore the signing of a right-back.
The Norwich defender’s stock has plummeted in the past year but make no mistake, Europe’s elite clubs including Bayern Munich and Barcelona have all previously watched Aarons.
It shows his star quality and in the right environment to develop, his ceiling remains high.
Norwich are set to consider offers for Aarons this summer after previously blocking his departure from Carrow Road and he would be a superb attack-minded option at the back for Ten Hag.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s future at the club currently remains unclear amid interest from former club Crystal Palace and Roma and at around £20million, Aarons could prove to be a snip.
Ismaila Sarr – Watford
He’s a player United know all too well having lodged a transfer deadline day bid in October 2020.
The proposal was an initial season-long loan with an option to buy for £25m but Watford said no.
This time around, Sarr is expected to push for an exit despite missing the majority of the season due to a knee injury.
Of course, Watford’s fate has not been sealed just yet but they are expected to join Norwich in the Championship after just one season back in the Premier League.
Sarr can play on either flank or through the middle and with Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard heading for the exit door, he’s a worthwhile option worth exploring.
Emmanuel Dennis – Watford
Once again, while Watford are not yet relegated, the Hornets are not expected to preserve their top-flight status.
Dennis was one of few shining lights this season at Vicarage Road, hitting 10 Premier League goals in his debut season in England.
He cost Watford around £3m last summer from Club Brugge, meaning they could be set to turnover huge profit for the Nigerian frontman.
While it’s clear he is not of the required standard to be a regular starter at United, his goalscoring record suggests he’s more than capable of filling a squad role – similarly to compatriot Odion Ighalo during his short stint at Old Trafford
If United are to be playing UEFA Conference League or Europa League football next season, they will need to maximise the full use of their squad.
Dennis represents the right profile and furthermore, he would represent an intriguing option from the bench.
Dwight McNeil – Burnley
McNeil would be fulfilling a childhood dream if United move to sign him, given the Red Devils released him at the age of 14.
Burnley are far from relegated given they’re currently sat outside the drop zone but as it stands, they are also far from safety.
If they were to go down, McNeil is one of several gems in their side that could be prised away from Turf Moor.
With Mata and Lingard off, United need some additional creative quality.
McNeil is a set-piece specialist with a wand of a left foot and should he be available on the cheap, United should certainly consider a surprise swoop…
If Burnley are to stay afloat though – which is still likely – McNeil’s value will remain reasonably high.
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