Man Utd facing £220m worth of transfer exits as Erik ten Hag told to make 15 signings
Ralf Rangnick reviews Liverpool defeat
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Erik ten Hag has been warned that he may need to axe over £220million worth of talent and sign up to 15 players in a mammoth overhaul if is appointed as Manchester United’s new manager this summer. The Dutchman has emerged as the red-hot favourite to succeed Ralf Rangnick when United’s current interim boss transitions into an advisory role at the end of the season.
Ten Hag has been identified as the right man to rebuild the ailing club after his stunning work with Ajax. The 52-year-old has guided the Dutch giants to five trophies in four years, but he has his work cut out to manufacture a similar feat with Manchester United’s beleaguered playing squad.
A host of big-name stars have come in for criticism on a regular basis this term – including the likes of Bruno Fernandes and Harry Maguire. And Gabby Agbonlahor has warned Ten Hag that he should ditch all but four of United’s current first-team squad and replace them with an influx of new arrivals upon his arrival in the Premier League.
He told talkSPORT: “I know it might sound a lot but 15 players, I’d say. They need a better bench. Look at the likes of Man City, Liverpool, and Chelsea – they’ve got two teams.
“Man United have got Luke Shaw, when he’s fit and on form, Bruno Fernandes when he fancies it, [Cristiano] Ronaldo will score goals and maybe David De Gea. That’s four. The rest of them I’d put on the transfer list.”
United have endured a horrific season in the Premier League and look set to miss out on a top-four finish – despite previously harbouring ambitions of launching a sustained title bid this term.
Missing out on Champions League football would further complicate Ten Hag’s bid to rebuild the club, who are already set to lose a host of big-name stars. The likes of Paul Pogba – the club’s £89million record signing – Edinson Cavani and Jess Lingard are all set to be free agents at the end of the season. Nemanja Matic, who joined the club in a £40m deal from Chelsea back in 2017, has also confirmed that he plans to quit the club in the summer – despite having an option to extend his Old Trafford stay for another year.
As well as that quartet, there are also question marks over a raft of first-team players. Academy graduate Marcus Rashford has been tipped to seek a summer exit after falling out of favour under Rangnick, while £36m misfit Anthony Martial is currently on loan at Sevilla and could be sacrificed in the summer to boost Ten Hag’s transfer budget. Juan Mata, who cost United just over £37m, is also set to quit the club when his contract expires at the end of the season.
Reserve shot-stoppers Dean Henderson and Lee Grant could also be culled in the summer, along with £16m outcast Phil Jones. Regardless of how much deadwood United are able to shift in the summer, Ten Hag is expected to be backed with a generous transfer war chest.
The Ajax chief has already been linked with a raid on his current club, with talented winger Antony tipped to follow his boss to Old Trafford. United are also anticipated to be in the market for an elite defensive midfielder in the summer, and have also been linked with Villarreal star Pau Torres and Benfica hotshot Darwin Nunez.
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