Reliable Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano claims Erik ten Hag held talks with Manchester United in Amsterdam last week.
That may be considered old news now – because he has since terminated his Ajax contract six weeks early to begin work at United – but it’s interesting nonetheless to know that work is being carried out behind-the-scenes to prepare the team for next season.
Despite the fact Ten Hag is expected to arrive in the UK this week, opting to miss out on Ajax’s end-of-season trip away to celebrate a third Eredivisie title under the next Manchester United manager, Ralf Rangnick will remain in charge for the last game of the season against Crystal Palace this weekend.
Romano claims Ten Hag has already discussed transfer targets with United, while the club want him to make his mind up over the future of three first-team players: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Marcus Rashford and Eric Bailly.
In his exclusive column for Caught Offside, Romano gave some insight into last week’s meetings between Ten Hag and the club, with some extra information on Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong.
“Erik ten Hag had a meeting with part of the Manchester United board last week, this is confirmed,” Romano said. “It happened in Amsterdam, and now he’s planning to fly to England this week to begin internal discussions but Ralf Rangnick will be in charge for United’s last game vs Crystal Palace.
“In the meeting, there was talk of players already in the club, potential new signings and contracts, but also the backroom staff which will include Mitchell van der Gaag as requested by ten Hag.
“Manchester United want a decision from ten Hag soon over Eric Bailly, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and also Marcus Rashford, while Frenkie de Jong is certainly a name that has been discussed internally.
“De Jong has been on Ten Hag’s list for some time. They worked well together at Ajax, and the manager loves Frenkie, but the player’s priority is to play Champions League football next season.
“It won’t be easy for United either because Barcelona want at least €80-85m to sell De Jong, Xavi will do everything to keep him but it will depend on the financial situation of the club. We know there have been issues there recently, so that could mean further sales after Philippe Coutinho’s loan to Aston Villa was made permanent. We are still at the early stages, so keep an eye out.”
While De Jong would be considered a dream signing for many fans, it is important that the players United sign this summer want to come for the right reasons.
Hopefully Ten Hag drops into De Jong’s DMs before the transfer window opens…