Saturday, July 2, 2022

Which midfielders are reportedly on Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United wishlist?

Tom Dunstan in Editorial, English Premier League 15 Jun 2022

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With it finally announced back in April that Erik ten Hag would be taking charge at Old Trafford ahead of the 2021/22 campaign, there is no doubt that the 52-year-old has quite the job on his hands.

The former Premier League champions just about managing to scrape themselves a top-six finish last season, it appears that the Red Devils are a million miles away from mounting any kind of title charge.

With it confirmed that the likes of Paul Pogba, Juan Mata and Nemanja Matic will all leave Old Trafford when their contracts expire this month, it is no secret that United are desperate to add some defensive reinforcements.

Expecting somewhat of a squad overhaul in Manchester this summer, we have taken a look at a few midfield superstars who are reportedly on Ten Hag’s wishlist.

Frenkie de Jong – Barcelona

With Ten Hag gaining his blossoming reputation for his successful spell with Dutch giants Ajax, it appears that Manchester United’s new boss has his sights set on being reunited with one of his most talented former pupils.

Last week it was announced that Ten Hag’s side have already reached out to Barcelona about the possibility of signing Frenkie de Jong this summer.

In what would certainly be a real statement signing for the start of Ten Hag’s Old Trafford revolution, Italian transfer guru Fabrizio Romano stated over the weekend that United have already submitted their first proposal.

Although Barcelona might have knocked back United’s original offer of €60million plus €10million in add-ons, it is believed that the Catalonia giants would be willing to part ways with the 25-year-old if an acceptable offer comes in.

However, with the former Spanish champions still dealing with some rather public financial issues behind the scenes at the Nou Camp, Ten Hag could be smelling the chance to test Barca’s resolve.

With De Jong arriving in Spain for a fee in the region of £65million back in January 2019, the Dutch international has only continued to cement his spot as one of Europe’s most talented midfielders.

Declan Rice – West Ham

While West Ham might have eventually failed to snatch a top-six finish off of Manchester United last season, the Hammers have only continued to gain a string of plaudits over the past two years.

Reaching the semi-final of the Europa League and enjoying a remarkable rise under one-time United boss David Moyes, there is no doubt that Declan Rice has played a vital role in their European charge.

Becoming one of the first names on Gareth Southgate’s teamsheet and almost guaranteed to be a crucial part of England’s World Cup plans out in Qatar, the one-time Chelsea schoolboy appears to be a man in demand.

Shortlisted for the PFA Young Player of the Year award and now regarded to be among the elite central midfielders from across the Premier League, there have been some suggestions that West Ham could be flexible on their whopping £150million valuation.

With The Athletic reporting earlier in the year that the 23-year-old has rejected several new deal with the east London outfit, Rice certainly appears on paper to be exactly what Manchester United are in desperate need of.

Gaining a reputation for their glaring defensive struggles last season, a defensive-minded midfielder must be at the top of Ten Hag’s wishlist.

Sergej Milinković-Savić – Lazio

With Lazio eventually missing out on the chance to book a Champions League return last season, it appears that one of their biggest names could be on the move over the coming weeks.

Once again gaining a host of plaudits from across Europe, Sergej Milinković-Savić remains a man in demand and the 27-year-old has been linked with a host of Premier League heavyweights.

Along with recent speculation surrounding an approach from Arsenal, Italian outlet La Reppublica reported last month that Ten Hag has identified the Serbian international as one of his top targets this summer.

Racking up 11 Serie A goals for Lazio last season, it has even been suggested that United have already made their first bid in an effort to snap up Milinković-Savić’s signature.

With it believed that many around Old Trafford see the Lazio ace as the perfect man to come in and replace the departing Pogba, La Reppublica announced last month that Ten Hag’s side have already held talks over a €65million deal.

With it looking likely that the Eagles would be open to parting ways with the 32-cap international if they can negotiate an acceptable fee, there is no doubt that Milinković-Savić would be deemed as quite the statement.


Tom Dunstan

Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan



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