For Manchester United fans, the enjoyment of supporting their beloved club has well and truly been sucked out of them. A behemoth in the world of football, the Red Devils are in disarray after a rather depressing trophy-less campaign. Even Ralf Rangnick couldn’t wait to depart the club, opting to take up his role as manager of Austria sooner than initially expected.
Despite it being a season to forget at Old Trafford, there is hope on the horizon. In Erik ten Hag, the club have a tough taskmaster who should, in theory, raise standards. Make no mistake about it; the Dutchman has to get it right if United are to stand any chance of returning to where they belong. Failure to get the players both Ten Hag and the clubs’ hierarchy want could result in another toxic atmosphere heading into the new season, alongside lessened expectations from fans as a result which will, in turn, influence any sports betting predictions, fuel negative debate online and in the stands, and present a real danger that one of the most famous clubs in the land could fall even further behind the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City.
With Manchester United expected to make several much-needed additions in the coming weeks, let’s assess some of the names that are currently being linked with a move to Old Trafford.
It’s not uncommon for a new manager to raid a former club for trusted professionals. A defender that immediately fits the bill in that respect is Ajax’s Jurrien Timber, a young Dutchman with bags of potential who Erik ten Hag knows extremely well. The 20-year-old can operate at right-back and at centre-half and could replace the likes of Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, Harry Maguire and Axel Tuanzebe. Matthijs de Ligt of Juventus and Villarreal’s Pau Torres have also made a reported list of targets put together by Erik ten Hag and those around him at Old Trafford.
After promising to deliver so much but ultimately providing very little, Paul Pogba’s hugely disappointing time back at Manchester United is coming to an end. The Frenchman is expected to leave, with major clubs in Europe casting an eye over a talented player whose career has clearly stagnated. With Pogba’s departure on the cards, reports suggesting a move for Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong are emerging. The Dutchman is known by Ten Hag and is reportedly surplus to requirements at the Camp Nou. But with no Champions League football on offer next season, can Manchester United tempt relatively big names like the Barcelona star to the club? Alongside De Jong, the Red Devils are linked with several other central midfield players, namely Kalvin Phillips of Leeds United, West Ham’s Declan Rice and Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante.
United’s reliance on an ageing Cristiano Ronaldo to score most of the team’s goals simply cannot continue. This, coupled with doubts over the future of Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, alongside the imminent departure of Edinson Cavani, mean that acquisitions in the final third of the pitch are absolutely vital. A name already in the frame is Benfica’s Darwin Nunez, a young Uruguayan international who has scored 34 goals in 41 appearances in all competitions. Nunez is attracting plenty of attention from some of Europe’s major clubs, though. Should Manchester United fail to land the goal-getter, then a number of other options could emerge. The likes of Ajax’s Antony, who is a winger, has been linked with a move to supplement an already thin attack, alongside Inter Milan ace Lautaro Martinez.