Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd make contact over FOUR midfielder transfers with Ratcliffe to axe trio Ten Hag no longer trusts

Man Utd are looking at summer transfer deals for Joao Gomes, Joao Neves and Morten Hjulmand

Man Utd are looking at summer transfer deals for Joao Gomes, Joao Neves and Morten Hjulmand

Manchester United chief Sir Jim Ratcliffe has given Erik ten Hag the green light to overhaul his midfield this summer with the capture of up to four new players and with stars of Everton and Wolves in his sights – and plans to finance such moves by allowing three players to leave.

The Red Devils endured an indifferent 2023/24 campaign, suffering the highs of winning the FA Cup, but the lows of their dismal Champions League campaign and an all-time lowly finish of eighth in the Premier League. And while it was decided that the cup win was to spare Ten Hag from losing his job, much better will be expected of the Dutchman and Manchester United as a whole next season.

Ultimately, that win over Manchester City – and the manner of it – convinced all at United that Ten Hag was the man most capable of steering United forwards. However, that was not without them first holding talks with Thomas Tuchel in Monaco to ascertain whether the German could have served their needs that bit better.

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But with the Dutchman now secure in the hotseat for now – and actually in talks with the club over an extension to that deal which TEAMtalk understands would be until 2027, if agreed – he has presented United with a three-point plan to transform their fortunes next season.

Part of that plan includes the overhaul of three positions, with upgrades wanted in central defence, the midfield and up front – three key areas which exposed United’s weaknesses on far too many occasions in the season just gone.

Man Utd make contact with four midfield signings

And while the path has been cleared for a new signings in defence and attack following the departure of Raphael Varane and Anthony Martial, respectively, the biggest overhaul of all is likely to come in midfield.

To that end, United’s minority shareholder, Ratcliffe, is in agreement with Ten Hag that major changes are needed in the department this summer to ensure they are far more competitive going forwards.

And with three players destined for the chop – more on that later – the British billionaire has set the wheels in motion for a bumper summer of business by making contact with four top targets, reports Fabrizio Romano.

The trusted transfer guru has confirmed United plans to completely remodel their engine room next season with only Kobbie Mainoo and Bruno Fernandes safe from the axe.

And while Romano is unable to name the four players they have made contact with, two of them are believed to be currently already in the Premier League in Everton star Amadou Onana and Joao Gomes of Wolves.

United have belief that deals for both players is there to be done. Everton’s financial situation is well documented and Belgium star Onana is seen as their most sellable big-money asset, with the club determined to retain the services of another top United target, defender Jarrad Branthwaite.

Wolves will also need to make a big sacrifice this summer to help fund Gary O’Neil’s transfer plans and Brazilian midfielder Gomes is one man who could be on the move to generate funds.

Deals for both players would likely cost between £50m to £60m.

Elsewhere, United are keen on another Joao – Benfica midfielder Neves – though any move for the teenager looks more problematic given the huge €120m (£101.3) exit clause in his deal.

Another Portugal-based star – Sporting’s Morten Hjulmand – is also believed to be on their radar. The Denmark star also has a clause in his deal, though his being set at a slightly-more modest €80m (£67.5m).

Man Utd transfers: Ratcliffe to show trio the door

While deals for all four players looks difficult, United are likely to operate a one-in, one-out process this summer.

But they can make room for signing number one with a decision now made not to take up the permanent option on Sofyan Amrabat’s deal. The Moroccan joined United on a €10m season-long loan from Fiorentina, with the Red Devils securing a €20m option to make his stay permanent.

However, despite ending the season in better form in which he started it, it’s now seemingly been decided that United will allow the player to return to the Serie A club.

Another who looks increasingly likely to move on is Casemiro, with the player on high wages and, at times, looking a shadow of the player who has starred for United in his first season at Old Trafford.

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His name has been circulated to a number of possible suitors and with United looking to claim around £25m from his sale. However, a potential move to Bayern Munich has already collapsed, it has emerged.

The Red Devils are also ready to listen to offers for Christian Eriksen, with the Dane having just a year left on his contract and falling down the pecking order under Ten Hag last season.

Brought in as a free agent in summer 2022, Eriksen can depart for a relatively most fee of around £15m.

There also remains some doubts over the future of Mason Mount, who suffered badly with injuries in his first season at Old Trafford.

Having cost £55m, his arrival was expected to help provide United’s midfield with more energy and drive – as well as an influx of goals. Instead, the former Chelsea man was limited to just 20 appearances and one goal.

And while they do hope for better from him next season, it’s not entirely sure what the club’s stance would be if a sizeable offer came their way.

However, of the quartet mentioned, he looks the least likely to secure a move elsewhere and for now, United continue to plan ahead with Mount in their ranks.