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’s claimed he’s ready to accept just three. The Red Devils have interest in Frenkie de Jong, while Lisandro Martinez and Antony have also been linked.
Manchester United know they have a big summer ahead.
Having lost 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’re apparently ready to submit a second bid for De Jong, with Barcelona previously turning down their opening offer which was worth in the region of £52million.
And, now, the Mirror say 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 awaiting this term, given they finished sixth in the table under Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick last time out, they’re now hampered.
Man Utd transfers: Erik ten Hag already has his own Darwin Nunez
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’s claimed United are now accepting they have to prioritise certain areas of their squad.
And a centre-back, striker and midfielder are now the priorities for the Red Devils as they seek a significantly improved campaign next season.
United are said to be targeting ‘less high-profile players who are hungry for the chance to prove themselves’.
That’s in stark contrast to previous years, when they’ve gone for Galacticos such as Paul Pogba, Angel Di Maria, Alexis Sanchez and Radamel Falcao.
De Jong is their main target, though United and Barcelona are said to be £10m apart on their valuations for the midfielder.
It’s stated that Lisandro Martinez and forward Antony, who played under Ten Hag at Ajax, are also on the club’s radar.
And with the United hierarchy accepting their priorities, it’ll be interesting to see what deals they can get over the line.
United had been in the mix to recruit Darwin Nunez, admiring the striker who scored 34 goals across all competitions for Benfica last term.
Yet he’s now joined Liverpool instead after the Red Devils deemed his price tag to be too high.
United supremo Richard Arnold recently told fans at a local pub that the ‘money was 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 on his old side ahead of the Ten Hag era.
And he’s insisted that 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, they said: ‘It’s not our style, it’s not what we’re looking for.’
“So let’s see, now we have Erik ten Hag. Let’s see what he’s going to do.
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“He has my support. But then, even if you brought a chef in, as the manager of Man United, he’d have my full support.”
And, on Conte specifically, he added: “It’s is a massive disappointment because he could have done something at Man Utd.
“And you can see with Tottenham, he helped them to qualify for the Champions League spot.
“They have the same players, so 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 are so happy because when they see the players now, win or they lose, they give everything. That’s the mentality of Antonio Conte.”