Erik ten Hag ‘s frustrating wait for his first signing as Manchester United manager goes on – but the Red Devils boss certainly isn’t short of options.
Among the countless list of names linked with the Red Devils, Hoffenheim sensation David Raum has emerged as an exciting target, having picked up the Bundesliga ‘s Newcomer of the Year award last season thanks to a slew of spectacular performances which included three goals and 11 assists in 32 games.
The attack-minded left-back is now the subject of a four-team transfer battle – according to Sky Germany and Bild – as United, Newcastle, West Ham and Borussia Dortmund all vie for his sought-after signature.
While Raum would cost around €40 million (£36.3m), convincing the 24-year-old Germany international to uproot appears to be a simpler task than haggling down his price tag.
Amid links of a big-money move away from Hoffenheim, Raum was quizzed on his future by Sport1 and revealed the “dream” he has that’ll factor into any decision. “Naturally, I would have liked to have played on the international stage with Hoffenheim,” the former Greuther Furth defender explained.
“Unfortunately, that didn’t work out. That continues to be a dream for me.”
While the Red Devils’ sixth-place finish in the Premier League last time out marked their worst points return for 31 years, it means that Ten Hag’s team will play in the Europa League next season, the competition which Raum’s side agonisingly missed out on in the final weeks of the campaign.
Granted, Dortmund (staples of the Champions League group stage) and West Ham (entering the Europa Conference League) can both also boast about their involvement in European football, but Ten Hag can lean on the highly-rated German’s ambitions in any potential negotiations to finally get his first deal as United manager over the line.
Raum’s personal campaign made him one of the standout performers in the Bundesliga last season, notably putting the most crosses into the penalty area in Europe’s top five leagues – Cristiano Ronaldo, take note.
His displays at club level have earned him nine caps for Germany, having left newly-promoted Greuther only a year ago on a free transfer following another assist-laden term.
While the Red Devils target seems to be relaxed about his future – understandable given that his contract with Hoffenheim runs until 2026 and includes a release clause which comes into play after next season – United fans are much more eager to see Raum or anyone of his pedigree come through the door and help kickstart Ten Hag’s revolution.