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Manchester United latest on Frenkie de Jong, transfer plans and Erik ten Hag’s coaching staff


Manchester United’s hopes of securing Champions League soccer for subsequent season have been formally ended final Saturday night following their 4-0 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion on the Amex Stadium.

Just because it appeared not possible for United to sink to a brand new low this season, they discovered a means, producing their worst efficiency of the season in opposition to a crew that had not received at dwelling since Boxing Day. Ralf Rangnick’s aspect have been carved aside in each means possible by a crew with a mode and swagger.

Therefore, it signifies that United can be combating for nothing greater than a Europa League spot once they go to Crystal Palace on the ultimate day of the season subsequent weekend. The journey to Selhurst Park will mark the ultimate match of this present period, with big modifications set to be applied throughout the summer season.

READ MORE: Cristiano Ronaldo is already serving to Manchester United to nurture his successor

Erik ten Hag will take cost at Old Trafford forward of the beginning of subsequent season and he can be tasked with constructing a new-look squad that may show to be aggressive, which means an enormous problem awaits him and his workers. However, the forthcoming summer season guarantees to be thrilling for the supporters, even when there is a component of the unknown about what lies forward.

On Friday, MEN Sport’s chief United author, Samuel Luckhurst, hosted a Q&A session in an try and attempt to reply as many questions as doable that United’s followers had for him, starting from the prospect of Frenkie de Jong becoming a member of the membership to Ten Hag’s teaching crew.

Q: I hold listening to in regards to the company re-structuring that is happening off the pitch at Manchester United. Is this being pushed by Richard Arnold, or are individuals organically leaving totally Ed Woodward’s and Matt Judge’s departures?

SL: It’s a mixture of each. Arnold, to his credit score, is making an attempt to vary issues however others have been comfy when Woodward was there they usually haven’t got that security web anymore. It’s commonplace in most workplaces, I suppose.

Q: In phrases of a share, how a lot probability is there for Frenkie De Jong to hitch Manchester United after Ten Hag calling his agent?

SL: Does anybody actually need to know a share estimate on a switch? I do not. De Jong has some legs due to Ten Hag. When he joined Barcelona, he in all probability hoped to spend the remainder of his profession there, or most of it.

Leaving after three unsuccessful years can be chastening however Barcelona are attempting to usher many in direction of the exit door as doable due to their eye-watering debt. That’s some key context right here, as a result of I’ve already spoken to 1 matchgoer who’s talked about the title ‘ Angel Di Maria’. The distinction with Di Maria is United knew they have been signing somebody who did not need to signal for them. Di Maria wished to hitch PSG however could not in 2014 due to FFP restrictions. But he needed to go away Madrid. So United had a free run at him.

If Ten Hag convinces De Jong to hitch United, it will be a coup. There is a protracted solution to go, although. Barcelona can be taking part in within the Champions League subsequent season and United may not be prime billing on Thursday nights in the event that they find yourself within the Conference League. The possibilities of success within the Premier League over the following 5 years are additionally distant. These are De Jong’s peak years and United are a membership that yo-yos between Champions League and Europa League.

De Jong was wished by City in 2019 and, till Ten Hag was appointed United supervisor, you can not think about De Jong in a United shirt.

Q: What do you assume the affect of not qualifying for the Champions League can have on United’s switch exercise this summer season?

SL: Their non-participation in it subsequent season alone would make the doable signing of De Jong exceptional. That United are expending power on such an excellent midfielder who’s nearly attainable is a marked departure from 2019 when there was an emphasis on British gamers. And look how effectively that went…

Some targets can be non-starters as a result of United aren’t within the Champions League, so the scouting needs to be cannier. De Jong can be an announcement signing however it’s early days and nothing like as superior as a few of Barcelona’s mouthpieces have steered.

Q: It is well-known that it will take a variety of convincing to get De Jong to hitch Manchester United. Barcelona would promote him to us, supplied we meet their valuation. How possible is it that we persuade him to hitch, and if there may be competitors corresponding to Manchester metropolis and Bayern Munich, how possible would it not be he chooses us a membership with no Champions League over others?

SL: Ten Hag reaching out is essential as a result of he’s in all probability the one one who may persuade De Jong to make the transfer. For all this speak of Darren Fletcher promoting the membership to targets, he would possible fall on deaf ears the place De Jong is anxious.

City do need a central midfielder however De Jong will not be as aligned with Fernandinho as Rodri was, so maybe they favour somebody extra defensive-minded. They have gotten sufficient in De Jong’s mould, but when they determined to play Ilkay Gundogan deeper (and Pep Guardiola is a good sufficient to make {that a} full-time conversion) then there’s a spot additional ahead.

As I wrote earlier, it will be a coup if United bought De Jong due to what number of hurdles there are.



Frenkie de Jong is on Manchester United's radar.
Frenkie de Jong is on Manchester United’s radar.

Q: It’s been reported broadly that Mitchell Van der Gaag and Steve McClaren can be becoming a member of Man Utd as Ten Hag’s assistants. Aside from these appointments, will there be some other additions to Ten Hag’s backroom workers?

SL: I used to be off yesterday [Thursday] however my colleague reported on Van der Gaag a couple of weeks in the past. There was a hearsay Rene Meulensteen was at Carrington final month (his daughter does work for MUTV however primarily at Old Trafford) and he is been fairly outspoken about United needing to nominate somebody conversant in the membership. It seems that can in all probability be McClaren.

Q: With rumours of Dean Henderson leaving on mortgage or on a everlasting switch, may we see a brand new back-up goalkeeper be signed that’s extra suited to a possession model of play? We’ve been linked to Sam Johnstone on a free as cowl, however with United beforehand scouting the likes of Ilan Meslier, who appears relegation certain at present, may we see somebody like that who might be back-up and a long-term choice publish David de Gea?

SL: Sam Johnstone was so comfy signing contract after contract with zero possibilities of taking part in time at United his return is plausible. I do not assume Ten Hag can afford to be as weak as Solskjaer with regards to the goalkeeping problem. Solskjaer’s decision-making was made by a lady about to offer start (De Gea’s companion) and Covid (Henderson missed the beginning of the season due to it).

Q: If the De Jong deal occurs, does that eradicate United for Darwin Nunez? Seems like he’s their No.1 striker choice to herald this summer season, however getting each would eat up nearly all their *reported* finances.

SL: I would not essentially say Nunez is the No.1 striker goal. People at United say if you happen to give the Portuguese media an inch they are going to take a mile. The Portuguese would possibly say that in regards to the UK media, too, however United are simple prey for Benfica, Sporting and many others. if both membership has a participant who could also be of curiosity.

Bruno Fernandes was extra notorious than Nico Gaitan in that he went from a supply of irritation to inspiration in 5 or 6 months. United have been sick and bored with the summer season 2019 hypothesis surrounding Fernandes that almost all of us have been amazed they have been actively making an attempt to signal him in January 2020.

Q: Does the membership intend to get issues achieved early? And negotiate a number of offers directly? Or as regular, one deal at a time? Also, has Ten Hag given any opinions for the board on the present squad? Like the De Gea/Henderson state of affairs.

SL: They all the time goal to get issues achieved early however, from what I collect, appear to be extra proactive with potential offers relatively than the inhibitive one-at-a-time technique Woodward and Judge favoured.

He nearly definitely has however, up till now, they’ve managed to be discreet about it. Certain gamers haven’t had readability but.

Q: Which are the centre-backs you assume united are taking a look at? Do United have a great scouting community exterior of the UK, or do they select to disregard them with regards to signing gamers from different leagues?

SL: My colleague revealed the curiosity in Pau Torres. Antonio Rudiger was thought-about (pointlessly, for my part – he was by no means a goer). United have a wonderful scouting community – at academy stage. Consider the 2020 offers: Joe Hugill, Charlie McNeill, Alvaro Fernandez, Marc Jurado and Alejandro Garnacho.

Q: I’d wish to ask you a query about United’s switch exercise usually. Last yr, round this time of the season, there was a transparent indication of the names that United have been going to be making an attempt ie. [Raphael] Varane and [Jadon] Sancho. Whilst the De Jong curiosity appears to have picked up during the last couple of days, I’m personally fairly unsure as as to whether United are ready with a switch technique. From your data, do you assume United are prepared with their technique given the actual fact many appear to counsel it is a huge summer season for MUFC if they’re to get again on monitor?

SL: It’s an attention-grabbing and salient level. It was clearer final yr as a result of it was clear United can be within the Champions League. They will not be subsequent season, so they’re restricted as to the profile of participant they will goal. De Jong is an exception due to the Ten Hag hyperlink, so do not be stunned if United attempt to check the waters with Matthijs de Ligt, as a result of they need a centre-back. If United have been within the Champions League subsequent season, you’d fancy their possibilities of getting Declan Rice. The Kalvin Phillips curiosity confirms Rice is a non-starter.



Kalvin Phillips is a firm target for Manchester United.
Kalvin Phillips is a agency goal for Manchester United.

I’d hesitate to say they’re ‘prepared’. The membership are attempting to supply a optimistic outlook however goal observers have been greatly surprised by the state United are in, which is unsurprising, given the outgoings on the board and within the scouting division.

Q: Any updates on the membership’s progress in appointing a brand new soccer director?

SL: They’re restructuring and one other soccer director has been factored into that.

Q: How many gamers appear to be they’re leaving this summer season? Hopefully Ten Hag has given the inexperienced gentle to his targets now and we begin seeing some motion in market.

SL: They want to interrupt double figures for everlasting outgoings. I nonetheless have my doubts they are going to. Too many gamers are on lengthy contracts and large wages, so everlasting gross sales will show prohibitive.

In the case of Daniel James, United have been fortunate Leeds simply couldn’t fairly him. That was a larcenous deal.

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