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Transfer News: ten Hag identifies two defensive signings at Manchester United this summer

Erik Ten Hag in a training session at Ajax. (Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP via Getty Images)
Erik Ten Hag in a training session at Ajax. (Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP via Getty Images)

Transfer News: Erik ten Hag wants Jurrien Timber and Pau Torres at Manchester United

According to football journalist Rudy Galetti on Twitter (h/t Express), incoming new Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag would like to make defensive signings a priority in the upcoming summer transfer window.

The Dutchman is expected to take charge of the club at the end of the season when his current commitments with Ajax Amsterdam are dispensed with. He will succeed Ralf Rangnick as the English side’s new boss when the German’s tenure as interim manager expires in the summer.

Under Rangnick, United have struggled to put points on the Premier League table and lie in sixth place. They are in danger of missing out on a place in the Champions League next campaign, with their defence turning out to be a big reason for their poor form.

Club captain Harry Maguire has been woeful this term, often unable to keep up with stronger opposition attackers while his partners Raphael Varane and Victor Lindelof are prone to the odd mistake. Their performances on the pitch have seen the team concede cheap goals this season.

Two defensive signings targetted

With this background in place, the Red Devils have decided that their focus in the summer transfer window should be on players who could prove to be quality defensive reinforcements. Interestingly, they had signed a central defender in Varane last summer as well, bringing him from Real Madrid.

Galetti has now revealed that ten Hag is keen on roping in Jurrien Timber from Ajax and Pau Torres of Villarreal ahead of the new campaign. The Dutchman intends to use the former as a right-back when needed, while the latter has been eyed as Varane’s new partner in central defence.

Manchester United skipper Harry Maguire (L) could be replaced by Villarreal defender Pau Torres.
Manchester United skipper Harry Maguire (L) could be replaced by Villarreal defender Pau Torres. (Photo by JOSE JORDAN/AFP via Getty Images)

If this is the case, then Torres would effectively be replacing Maguire in the team. The Englishman is currently the first-choice defender to be paired up with Varane, which has kept Lindelof out of the team for the majority of the season.

Despite his poor form, the club captain continues to be one of the first names on the team sheet under Rangnick, but that could soon change under ten Hag from next season. While Maguire has been terrible this term, Torres’ stock has only risen.

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The 25-year-old has excelled for Villarreal in both La Liga and the Champions League, where the Yellow Submarines have managed to reach the semi-finals of the European competition. He was last seen in the Spanish side’s 2-0 loss to Liverpool at Anfield.

Meanwhile, ten Hag seems keen to bring Timber with him to Old Trafford, providing competition to Diogo Dalot and Aaron Wan-Bissaka at right-back. Neither of these United players has proven that they can nail down the spot for themselves, so perhaps the Ajax defender’s presence will see a marked improvement in the squad.

Paolo Dybala in action for Juventus. (Photo by Emmanuele Ciancaglini/Getty Images)

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