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Erik ten Hag’s first four tasks as Manchester United manager with appointment ‘agreed’

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Erik ten Hag is on the verge of becoming Man United’s fifth permanent manager since Sir Alex Ferguson’s 2013 retirement this summer. Ahead of his maiden season in charge, he will have a series of decisions to prepare United for a successful start to his reign.

Man United chief executive Richard Arnold and co-owner Joel Glazer have reportedly agreed that the Ajax boss is the ideal candidate to succeed Ralf Rangnick in the Old Trafford dugout. And while the club have insisted no appointment is imminent, it seems inevitable that he is the next ‘chosen one’.

Ten Hag is set to enter M16 on the back of one of United’s more disastrous seasons since Ferguson departed nine years ago. From Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s sacking to Greenwood’s suspension to the prospect of missing out on Champions League football, it’s no secret that the 52-year-old Dutchman has plenty of work to do.

See also  Man United set out Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sack timeline as they make their stance clear

With that in mind, Express Sport pinpoints Ten Hag’s first four tasks after walking through the Old Trafford entrance in July.

1) Scrap the ‘temporary’ culture

Since Rangnick replaced Solskjaer as interim manager until the end of the season, there has been an uncomfortable sense of uncertainty about where the club and its players will be beyond the summer. With a long-term vision in place, Ten Hag must ensure everyone is working towards the same goal.

See also  Cristiano Ronaldo 'embarrassed' for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with two other issues for Man United

2) An honest ultimatum

Next season, a handful of current first-team players won’t be at Old Trafford, whilst others simply won’t match Ten Hag’s philosophy. He must present an ultimatum to his inherited squad, including players signed by five different managers before him, where they can either work hard to fit into his system or play their football elsewhere.

3) Sign smarter, not bigger

United have grown accustomed to splashing over the odds on players to try and replicate Manchester City’s spending power – Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba are just a few examples. Ten Hag must lead a new philosophy by targeting less prominent names, as Liverpool have accomplished with the likes of Andrew Robertson and Sadio Mane, to match his rebuild strategy.

See also  Ole Gunnar Solksjaer confirms nightmare injury news for Man United ahead of champions League clash with Villarreal

4) Decide first-choice personnel

It’s been a significant problem for United this term. Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp have a clear idea of their preferred 11, more so the latter, and predominantly stick to it. The Red Devils currently don’t have a clear first-choice right-back and left-back, whilst midfield and attacking personnel also often change. During pre-season and through his own recruitment, Ten Hag needs to settle on a team as a foundation and build from there

Football

Man United facing two-way transfer problems as Erik ten Hag looks to offload six stars

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Manchester United are focused on trying to bring in at least three new signings before deadline day to halt a season already mired in crisis.

But offloading existing players has become just as problematic for United as persuading new names to join Erik ten Hag’s abject side, which currently sits rock-bottom of the Premier League.

United want to get rid of at least six players – Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Axel Tuanzebe, James Garner and Brandon Williams – before deadline day in a fortnight’s time.

But so far there have been no takers for United’s cast-offs, with many on such exorbitant wages or simply not considered good enough for other clubs to decide to take them on.

See also  Man United set out Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sack timeline as they make their stance clear

Although United managed to sell Andreas Pereira to Fulham for £8.5million and send Alex Telles out on loan to Sevilla for the season, shifting other players to raise funds is proving tricky.

Bailly, who failed to even make the nine-man bench for ten Hag’s first two United games, has been told he can leave, but no club has so far made a firm move for the 28-year-old defender.

West Ham, Marseille and Monaco have all expressed interest in the Ivory Coast international, but with two years left on a deal worth £100,000-a-week, Bailly’s wages are proving a stumbling block.

Those clubs interested in Bailly want to take him on loan, with United continuing to pay a significant chunk of his wages. It is a similar story with most of the players United want to jettison.

See also  Manchester united and Arsenal face huge price tag blow over Premier League star

United, in contrast, want a permanent sale, to raise revenue to reinvest in the players ten Hag needs to bolster his squad after beginning his tenure with defeats to Brighton and Brentford.

Bailly’s situation is indicative of the lack of effective leadership at United, which has seen the club hand lucrative, long-term contracts to players who have barely featured in recent seasons.

In the case of Bailly, he signed a contract extension in April 2021, keeping him at United until 2023, with the option for a further year. Yet since signing that new deal, Bailly has made just eight Premier League appearances and has not made a competitive appearance for United since December last year.

See also  Man United confirm Rangnick sack stance

It is a familiar story with Jones, who in February 2019 penned a new deal until 2023, with an option for an extra year, but in that time has made just 21 appearances. There has been little interest in Wan-Bissaka, bought from Crystal Palace for £50m in 2019 under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but who has been told by ten Hag to find a new club.

Yet while United are struggling to persuade players to come to Old Trafford, getting them out of the door is proving just as taxing, symbolic of a club in decline and without any coherent strategy.

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Chelsea

Mateo Kovacic, N’Golo Kante: Chelsea injury news and expected return dates before Leeds United

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Chelsea take on Leeds United on Sunday afternoon in a highly-anticipated Premier League bout at Elland Road.

The Blues have endured a turbulent start to the Premier League season; Thomas Tuchel’s side kicked off the new campaign with a 1-0 win over Everton despite a somewhat unconvincing performance,

before welcoming Tottenham Hotspur to Stamford Bridge, where an impressive display was dampened by a controversial stoppage-time equaliser.

Now, the west Londoners will be looking to translate a good performance into three points. So, with that in mind, here’s all the latest Chelsea injury news for Tuchel to contend with.

See also  Man United given food for thought after Pep Guardiola's Ralf Rangnick comments

Now, the west Londoners will be looking to translate a good performance into three points. So, with that in mind, here’s all the latest Chelsea injury news for Tuchel to contend with.

See also  Man Utd ‘preparing offer’ for defender and will ‘dig much deeper’ than Arsenal

Mateo Kovacic

One player that Tuchel won’t have at his disposal is central midfielder Kovacic, who is suffering from a slight knee issue at this moment in time

See also  Ole Gunnar Solksjaer confirms nightmare injury news for Man United ahead of champions League clash with Villarreal

What Tuchel said: “[Kovacic] has issues with his knee, always a little bit of a reaction. We decided to take a step back and increase treatment time to reduce the stress that comes from training to have a normal reaction before we start again. Everybody else is available

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Man United enter ‘final negotiation’ to sign £64,000-week-star

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Manchester United are in final negotiations with Barcelona to sign USA defender Sergino Dest, according to Spanish publication Sport.

The Red Devils are keen on bolstering multiple positions before the transfer deadline, and a new right-back is said to be among priorities.

Earlier this month, it was claimed that United are prepared to accelerate Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s exit in order to secure the services of Dest.

It is now reported that United are in the final phase of negotiations with the Blaugrana for Dest, who started his playing career at Ajax.

See also  Cristiano Ronaldo 'embarrassed' for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with two other issues for Man United

There has been talk over a loan deal with an obligation to buy, but the Catalan giants are quite clear that they want €20 million (£17m) to offload him.

Dest was initially reluctant to leave Barcelona, but has now changed his stance. The 21-year-old is said to welcome a reunion with Erik ten Hag.

Dest would be an ideal right-back for Erik ten Hag

United lacked creativity from the right-back position last term. Diogo Dalot and Aaron Wan-Bissaka failed to register a goal or an assist in any competition.

See also  Harry Kane breaks silence on Tottenham future amid Man United and Man City interest

The trend has remained the same this season. Dalot is now the first-choice, but the Portuguese has started the new campaign in a relatively poor fashion.

Hence, there are no surprises that United are looking to land Dest. The United States star has not lived up to his expectations at Barcelona, but was impressive at Ajax.

Under Ten Hag, he made his debut for the Amsterdam giants in 2019/2020. He had a solid maiden campaign with eight goal contributions from 38 appearances.

See also  Man United confirm Rangnick sack stance

A reunion with Ten Hag at United could bring the best out of him. Graduating through the Ajax system, he should be familiar with the playing style under the Dutchman.

At £17m, it seems a no-brainer signing for United. He has not even entered the prime of his career, and won’t command big wages. He is currently on £64,000-a-week.

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