Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Erik ten Hag suffers first Man Utd set-back as door is slammed shut on blockbuster midfielder transfer

Jude Bellingham, Declan Rice, England midfielders, during international friendly v Republic of Ireland at Wembley

New Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag will seemingly have to look elsewhere in his quest to strengthen his midfield, with Borussia Dortmund slamming shut any possibility of selling Jude Bellingham this summer.

The Dutchman has been officially confirmed as the new United boss on a three-year deal, which is subject to a international clearance. He will become the highest-earning Dutch manager in Premier League history, reportedly earning £160,000 a week.

And with that £8.32m a year salary, Ten Hag – and No 2 Mitchell van der Gaag – will be expected to get United upwardly mobile again.

Clearly he has a major rebuilding job to do. Tuesday night’s humiliating 4-0 defeat at Liverpool illustrates exactly how far behind they are to Jurgen Klopp’s side. And Roy Keane was quick to put the boot in to explain exactly how far they have fallen.

To kick things off, Ten Hag is expected to show the door to a number of first-team regulars. As per Thursday’s Transfer Gossip, the new United boss will wave off six stars at the end of their current contracts.

The list will be headed by Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic and Juan Mata – three players who cost United £166.3m. Following them out the door will be Jesse Lingard, Lee Grant and Edinson Cavani.

However, the brutal culling will not stop there with Ten Hag reportedly set to axe up to six more stars. As per the Daily Mirror, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Alex Telles, Eric Bailly, Phil Jones and Anthony Martial will also be put up for sale.

And perhaps most surprisingly, Ten Hag also is also reportedly open to offers for Marcus Rashford. The England man has struggled badly this season and interim boss Ralf Rangnick has already left open the possibillity of his departure.

Those wholesale changes will not end there either. The paper claims the United boss will have a £200m warchest at his disposal as he looks to strengthen United’s side.

Midfield an area of Man Utd weakness

One area key to Ten Hag’s thinking is likely to be the midfield. Rangnick quickly outlined that as an area of weakness – and Ten Hag is seemingly eager to draft in new blood.

A number of ambitious signings are reportedly on his radar. These range from Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips through to Lazio’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.

However, one name persistently linked with United is Borussia Dortmund’s teenage star Bellingham.

United were keen on signing Bellingham from Birmingham when he first emerged.

But having opted to move to the Westfalenstadion in summer 2020, Bellingham has gone from strength to strength in the Bundesliga.

Any such deal for Bellingham would likely set United back an enormous fee.

However, Dortmund seemingly have no desire to sell the midfielder, slamming shut Ten Hag’s apparent interest before it has begun.

That’s because BVB are likely to offload Erling Haaland this summer – most likely to Manchester City. As such, they will not allow a second big-name player to depart in the same window.

Dortmund looking to extend Jude Bellingham contract

In fact, so determined are Dortmund to retain Bellingham’s services, they are looking to offer him an improved deal.

The 18-year-old’s contract currently expires in summer 2025, so Dortmund perhaps have no urgency to extend that stay.

However, after underlining his qualities in both the Bundesliga and Champions League, they’re looking to reward him with a payrise.

Earning an extremely modest £20,000 a week, Dortmund reportedly want to offer Bellingham a new, triple his money five-year deal.

Jude Bellingham responds to Man Utd links

Jude Bellingham responds to Man Utd links

Dortmund star Jude Bellingham has responded to links with Man Utd, as Liverpool also keep tabs on him

That would secure his commitment to the club until 2027.

Furthermore, Dortmund are also looking to secure the signing of his younger brother Jobe Bellingham.The 16-year-old is a winger, also with Birmingham City.

Jude Bellingham has six goals and 13 assists from 40 appearances across all competitions this season.