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Erik ten Hag reveals three transfer priorities for Manchester United

Erik ten Hag reveals three transfer priorities for Man United
© Reuters
Erik ten Hag confirms that he wants to sign a new striker, midfielder and centre-back for Manchester United in the summer transfer window.

Manchester United head coach Erik ten Hag has revealed his priority areas to strengthen in the upcoming transfer market in another hint that he could stay on as manager for 2024-25.

On Friday, reports emerged that the Red Devils board were to sack the Dutchman after Saturday's FA Cup final, even if they beat Manchester City to qualify for next season's Europa League.

Defeat to the Citizens in the final for the second year running would extinguish Man United's hopes of continental football for good, though, as they could only manage a disappointing eighth-placed finish in their worst-ever Premier League season.

Ten Hag's men also finished bottom of their Champions League group and went out of the EFL Cup in the fourth round, leading to the expectation that Sir Jim Ratcliffe will pull the trigger on Ten Hag.

However, the 54-year-old has already suggested that he could continue in his role for the final year of his contract, claiming that INEOS are working alongside him in their restructure of the club.

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag on May 6, 2024© Reuters

Ten Hag: 'We need a striker, midfielder and centre-back'

In a further hint that Friday's sack reports are premature, the Dutchman recently told Voetbal International that he has begun to draw up transfer plans for the upcoming summer window.

As quoted by Fabrizio Romano, Ten Hag stressed that reinforcements in all areas of the field are of utmost importance, and he believes that the Red Devils can challenge for the Champions League spots again next year with a fully-fit squad.

"We need to sign an extra striker in the summer. And if we can sign another central midfielder and a replacement for [Raphael] Varane, things will look good again," Ten Hag said. "If the team remains fit we can try and aim for top four again."

Key centre-back Varane has already announced that he will leave Old Trafford when his contract expires at the end of the season, while Jonny Evans could follow suit if he is not offered an extension.

Meanwhile, midfield trio Casemiro, Donny van de Beek and Christian Eriksen will likely be sold, and injury-plagued striker Anthony Martial is set to leave when his deal runs out in June too.

Who are Man United's top targets this summer?

Everton's Jarrad Branthwaite celebrates after the match on September 23, 2023© Reuters

The Red Devils appear to have already found their ideal Varane replacement in the shape of Everton's Jarrad Branthwaite, although it could take up to £80m to prise the European Under-21 champion away from Goodison Park.

Crystal Palace's Marc Guehi and Nice's Jean-Clair Todibo may be slightly cheaper alternatives, but soon-to-be free agent Tosin Adarabioyo is expected to accept an offer from Newcastle United.

Regarding the midfield ranks, rumours have swirled surrounding a swoop for Benfica starlet Joao Neves, but the Portuguese giants are unlikely to let him leave for anything less than £100m.

Talk of signing an experienced striker to share the load with Rasmus Hojlund has died down, though, and Man United are now understood to be pursuing another fledgling attacker in RB Leipzig's Benjamin Sesko.

However, should Leipzig tie the Slovenian down to a new deal or Arsenal beat him to his signature, Viktor Gyokeres of Sporting Lisbon and Stuttgart's Serhou Guirassy are other options.

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Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag applauds the fans after the match on May 15, 2024
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