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Manchester United target key midfield reinforcements

Erik ten Hag to put Manchester United transfer plans on hold until his priority transfer target is signed on.
My way or the highway? (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

As the incoming Manchester United manager, it’s fair to say that Erik ten Hag undoubtedly faces a huge task in reviving the fortunes of this fallen giant. The Dutchman who enjoyed great success at Ajax is keenly aware of the challenge ahead, especially amidst preparations for a complete overhaul of the squad.

Following a dismal campaign for the Red Devils, which concluded with the team finishing sixth in the Premier League, not even the experienced hand of interim head coach Ralf Rangnick could improve their fortunes.

Despite his reputation as the godfather of ‘gegenpressing’ in Germany, the players responded poorly, leading to a string of woeful performances and results.

Now that he has arrived at Old Trafford, eager to change the fortunes of this once great club as quickly as possible, Ten Hag is now busily planning wholesale squad changes with technical staff. Given that a host of players will be departing, replacements must be sought and particularly in midfield, which is one area requiring significant improvements.

Already, oddsmakers are highlighting potential Manchester United moves, as fans look to wager on players who could make the switch. This market has become increasingly , including the leading sites rated and reviewed by Asiabet experts, who focus on providing punters with safe and secure betting options, along with access to the most competitive odds and promotions. 

Right now, these are three of the leading midfield prospects Ten Hag is believed to be considering, as the new management regime at Old Trafford prepares to ring in the changes they need.

Frenkie de Jong – FC Barcelona

Ever since the deal was announced to bring in Ten Hag as their new manager, Manchester United was immediately linked with several of his Dutch compatriots. Having previously coached Frenkie de Jong during their shared time at Ajax, it always appeared likely that he might be interested in making a move for the 25-year-old midfielder.

Any such move would also be one of the top summer transfers for Manchester United, having been quoted a price in the region of £65 million by Barcelona, should the English club seek to pursue their interest.

The Daily Mail insists that Ten Hag is ready to ‘bet big’ on signing De Jong, with the Red Devils pressing for a quick decision one way or the other from the player.

The Dutch international is believed to be happy at Barcelona and willing to stay, although the Spanish club remains mired in a difficult situation economically, which could also force their hand.

Likewise, the Catalan press insist that Barcelona have already agreed to sign a replacement for De Jong, touting Valencia midfielder Carlos Soler as his replacement.

Manu Koné – Borussia Mönchengladbach

Despite the need to reinforce the squad with several players this summer, Ten Hag will need to spend wisely and that could lead to some potential bargain moves, even with the estimated transfer budget of up to £200 million he has been granted.

This could imply a certain degree of bargain hunting, especially given expectations that at least six new signings are needed.

This train of thought places Kouadio ‘Manu’ Kone as a potential option for Manchester United, who have been recently linked with tracking his progress at Borussia Mönchengladbach, having made an immediate impact in the Bundesliga since arriving from French side Toulouse in 2021.

Considered to have a big future at his current club, they will undoubtedly be reluctant to sell one of their most prized assets so soon.

Nevertheless, quality performances throughout the 2021-22 campaign have attracted plenty of attention, including that of Manchester United, Atletico Madrid, and Juventus.

According to Get Football News France reports, Ralf Rangnick has been looking at Koné for several years, implying that he could be amongst a shortlist of transfer targets proposed to incoming boss Ten Hag.

Joao Gomes – Flamengo

One rumour gathering momentum in Brazil has recently gained more credence, following initial reports by The Sun in March of this year, which claimed that Manchester United has been scouting £32million-rated Flamengo midfielder, Joao Gomes.

The 21-year-old has been attracting rave reviews lately, even ousting Andreas Pereira from the team, who is currently on loan from the Red Devils.

This has inevitably led to reports that Manchester United are taking a closer look, having apparently instructed their South American scouts to watch Gomes in action, then provide Ten Hag with detailed reports. If the reports are favourable, the 21-year-old would become a serious consideration during the summer transfer window.

Amidst the proposals to secure any such deal, Manchester United would apparently be willing to offer Pereira as part of the package, as an incentive to tempt Flamengo into negotiations for the signing of Gomes.

The Brazilian club do retain an option to make the loan of Pereira permanent, which means his future could also leverage that of Gomes in the coming weeks.

Written by Thomas Hein

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