Ten Hag transfer plans stumble as Man Utd stars return for pre-season
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has taken his first day of training as players reported for first-team duty but moves for a number of transfers face obstacles
A number of Manchester United’s big stars have reported for pre-season as Erik ten Hag starts work with his new squad.
The Dutchman arrived at Old Trafford this summer tasked with the monumental challenge of returning United back to the top of world football and is set to begin a huge overhaul of his playing squad. He can now run the rule over the players he has inherited as he weighs up which players may not be part of his long-term plans at Old Trafford.
It comes as transfer moves to bring in a number of new players have hit obstacles, including moves for Ajax stars Antony and Lisandro Martinez as well as Feyenoord left-back Tyrell Malacaia. And the new United boss has already been accused of a “huge miss” with bitter rivals Manchester City looking like they will seal the signing of Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips.
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Ten Hag’s first day of training
Manchester United stars David De Gea, Victor Lindelof, Anthony Martial, Donny van de Beek and Jadon Sancho were among the names to report for pre-season on Monday.
On Erik ten Hag’s first day of training at United, 15 first-team players and Under-21 squad members reported for duty with the new Red Devils manager introducing himself and outlining his approach. Assistants Mitchell van der Gaag and Steve McClaren were also present as work started in earnest to rebuild United’s fortunes.
Players who took part in international fixtures during the summer will return next week, with Ten Hag having ordered an early return for the club’s squad in order to work on players’ fitness.
Transfer plans stumble
A number of Manchester United’s moves in the transfer market have hit obstacles as Erik ten Hag struggles to make the improvements he wants to the club’s playing squad.
While Ten Hag’s number one target Frenkie de Jong is inching closer to the Old Trafford club with an agreement with Barcelona over his transfer fee getting closer, other moves may be trickier to get over the line. The Red Devils have been told Ajax winger Antony will set them back £70million – which would be a significant chunk of Ten Hag’s transfer budget.
And United may be beaten to the signings of Feyenoord left-back Tyrell Malacia and Ajax centre-back Lisandro Martinez as well. Meanwhile Christian Eriksen is waiting to see the calibre of players the Red Devils sign before making a decision on whether to sign for the Old Trafford outfit.
United accused of “huge miss”
Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has been criticised for his decision not to move for Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips, who is set to join rivals Man City.
The England international is set to become Fernandinho’s replacement within Pep Guardiola’s title-winning squad, but former Chelsea star Tony Cascarino thinks United have missed out.
Cascarino says Phillips is “exactly what Man United need” and that a “ball-winning player who can keep it and let other players do their thing” is a “huge miss in their team”.