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Man United’s ideal summer with Erik ten Hag in charge and five signings

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At the current moment in time, all signs point to Manchester United hiring Erik ten Hag as their next manager. The Dutchman is the overwhelming favourite to take over at Old Trafford, particularly after a second round of interviews. And his arrival could be the start of a bright new era.

When it comes to United hiring a new manager, there have been several names mooted.

Mauricio Pochettino has regularly been linked amid uncertainty over his Paris Saint-Germain future, having been admired by the club ever since his time at Southampton.

Julen Lopetegui has also emerged as an option, having done well to rebuild his career at Sevilla following a difficult time at Real Madrid.

And Luis Enrique, despite making it abundantly clear that he’s committed to the Spain national team, is another person on their shortlist.

When it comes to United having an ideal summer, however, Ten Hag’s appointment would be the way to go.

The Ajax boss has done well during his five years in the Netherlands, winning two league titles while getting his team to play some enthralling football along the way.

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And that makes him the perfect person for the United job.

Sure, he’s not got the same big reputation such as predecessors Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho.

But Ten Hag learned from Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich and would be able to bring his possession-based, attacking style of play to Old Trafford.

Every time United hire a new manager, they tend to give them big transfer backing – the unfortunate David Moyes aside.

Van Gaal was gifted the signings of Angel Di Maria, Radamel Falcao, Ander Herrera, Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo, Daley Blind and Radamel Falcao.

And Mourinho, during his maiden summer in charge, got given reinforcements in Eric Bailly, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

With Ten Hag, it’s feasible they could sign as many as five players at the end of the campaign.

Antony is one player being linked and, with the Red Devils likely to lose Anthony Martial and Edinson Cavani, would be a great replacement for either of the pair.

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Likewise Ajax team-mate Jurrien Timber, who can boost their centre-back options at a time where Harry Maguire has failed to live up to expectations.

In midfield department,Man United want to land Declan Rice.

That’s something they’ve already agreed in private, with John Murtough and Darren Fletcher both full of admiration for the West Ham star.

And it’s hard to see Ten Hag objecting, especially given how lacking United are in that area when compared to their rivals.

United will likely need a back-up goalkeeper to provide competition for David De Gea, at a time where Dean Henderson is expected to depart.

Henderson has stayed professional at United this season but the England international is fed up at barely playing under both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick.

Sam Johnstone has been mentioned as a possible replacement, with the West Brom goalkeeper previously coming up through the United academy.

And United, as their fifth ideal summer signing, would like a young centre-forward as well.

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Gone are the days where they were tipped to pursue Erling Haaland, with the Norway international destined to leave Borussia Dortmund for elsewhere.

There are, however, several players the club may try and snap up.

Darwin Nunez is on their radar, with the Benfica striker enhancing his reputation as one of Europe’s hottest young talents with over 20 goals across all competitions.

Alexander Isak was linked in January and there’s a sense he’d jump at the chance to leave Real Sociedad for an elite club.

And Man United have been put forward as having interest in Tottenham’s Harry Kane, even if Spurs may try and price their rivals out of a deal.

If United appoint Ten Hag, the good times may be round the corner again.

If they sign Antony, Timber, Rice, Johnstone and Nunez/Isak/Kane, it will certainly boost their chances of a successful future.

Yet whether that happens, especially with the Red Devils’ record patchy since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement nine years ago, remains to be seen.

 

 

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Barcelona youngster in line to bench Jordi Alba for Real Sociedad clash – report

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As Barcelona drew 0-0 against Rayo Vallecano for the season opener, Jordi Alba was among the five to be substituted off to make way for offensive depth. The Spaniard is usually among the brightest offensive outlets in the team, but failed to make an impact last week.

Alba also looked out of his depth during pre-season, and it was reported that people within Barcelona were surprised that he started over Alejandro Balde.

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The 18-year-old was impressive during the run-up to the league opener, and was expected to take Alba’s place in the lineup.

While that did not happen vs Rayo, Javi Miguel reports that he is in line to start against Real Sociedad as the left-back. Xavi has informed Balde about his decision, and has told him to train with high intensity leading up to the game.

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Balde has been linked with an exit from Barcelona, especially given Marcos Alonso’s imminent arrival. However, an impressive performance at Anoeta could open the doors for his continuity.

The Chelsea defender has reportedly completed his move to Barcelona, subject to registrations and signatures. The club plan to announce it in the coming days if they are able to register Jules Kounde in time for the game.

Balde played in every single one of Barça’s pre-season fixtures, even registering an assist — to Raphinha —, against Inter Miami.

See also  Man United board select 'No.1 candidate' from shortlist to replace Ole Gunnar Solksjaer

Barcelona fans will hope the gamble pays dues, especially because it will likely not go down well with Alba, who is one of the team captains

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Barcelona yet to receive any offers for exit-bound right back, price tag sits at €20m

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Barcelona are said to be pushing Sergino Dest towards an exit, but a recent report from journalist Adria Albets has confirmed that the player does not have any offer at the moment.

Regardless of what has been said in the past, neither have Manchester United tabled any formal offer for the right-back, nor have they made contacts with the 21-year-old’s representative.

For the moment, Barcelona are clear pretty clear about offloading Dest but in order to fulfil the operation, they are demanding in excess of €20 million.

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For that particular reason, his agents are finding it hard to find a suitor as no club is willing to match the valuation for a player who is already fallen down the pecking order.

Xavi has so far preferred to use make-shift centre-back, Ronald Araujo, as a full-back. And while the Uruguayan has done well at times, it’s pretty clear that the team is looking to bring in a full-time right-back this summer.

For that, several players such as Hector Bellerin, Juan Foyth, Diogo Dalot, Thomas Meunier and Jeremie Frimpong have been considered, but there remain several complications in carrying out the operation

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To begin with, Villarreal’s valuation of €42 million for Juan Foyth is proving to be a hindrance.

Barcelona are finding themselves in this situation mostly because their attempt to sign a certain Cesar Azpilicueta failed.

Meanwhile, as far as Dest is concerned, he knows in order to get regular minutes, he needs to move away from Camp Nou, but Barcelona’s asking price of €20 million is putting a stop to his desire.

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Manchester United were thought to be weighing up a fresh move worth €20 million for the defender, but the Premier League side is yet to make any formal move. Hence, the Dutch-born American defender continues to train within the Barcelona ranks for the time being.

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Report: Chelsea prepared to listen to offers for their ‘huge talent’, will demand nearly £60m

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Report: Chelsea prepared to listen to offers for their ‘huge talent’, will demand nearly £60m

Chelsea would reportedly prefer to sell Christian Pulisic rather than loan him out this summer.

According to The Sun, Manchester United are interested in signing the 23-year-old Blues attacker on loan

is understood that Chelsea would rather offload the American on a permanent basis, though.

The report says they’ll listen to offers for Pulisic during the next couple of weeks, but want to recuperate the full £58million they paid for him a few years ago.

See also  Man United 'prepare huge Harry Kane offer with the sale of Anthony Martial not ruled out'

With Chelsea demanding nearly £60million for the forward, will any club step forward with a bid?

Chelsea prefer to sell Pulisic

It makes little sense doing Man United a favour by sending them Pulisic on loan, so you can fully understand why a permanent transfer would make much more sense.

Described as a “huge talent” earlier this year by Gary Neville, Pulisic is a player that frustrates supporters at Stamford Bridge.

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The winger can produce moments of brilliance in the final third, but there’s no major consistency in his game.

He finished last season with eight goals and five assists in 38 matches across all competitions, which wasn’t a bad return considering he missed a couple of months with an ankle problem

However, the United States international can’t seem to become a real favourite under Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel.

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His 2019/20 campaign is proof of what a talented player he can be.

The forward had 21 direct goal contributions in 34 Blues appearances, but it was a familiar case of injuries interrupting him whenever he builds up some momentum.

It would be quite a surprise if a clubs willing to fork out a near-£60million sum for him.

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