Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Marcel Sabitzer agent sends chilling Ten Hag warning as Man Utd boss explains reasons for signing

Marcel Sabitzer, Bayern Munich in action against Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga

Erik ten Hag has explained the factors behind his deadline day move to sign Marcel Sabitzer – but his agent has already fired a concerning warning to the Manchester United manager.

United boss Ten Hag adopted a sensible approach to the January 2023 transfer window. Having shelled out well over £200m in the summer on six new stars, it was very much a case of one in, one out at Old Trafford this time around. Indeed, their modest and swift approach to the window has earned some wholesome praise right here.

Having lost Cristiano Ronaldo and Martin Dubravka, United signed both Wout Weghorst and Jack Butland as replacements. And that was likely to the way the window would end with Ten Hag and Co happy to keep their powder dry until the summer.

However, a serious injury to Christian Eriksen late in January ruled the Dane out until April at best. And that allowed United to act quickly and efficently on deadline day to seal the signing of Sabitzer.

The Austrian star moves on loan from Bayern Munich for the rest of the season. And United moved for the midfielder with the club reportedly rejecting five other stars up for grabs.

The 28-year-old was in the stands on Wednesday night as United booked their place in the Carabao Cup final. And Sabitzer could debut on the club’s return to Premier League action against Crystal Palace on Saturday.

He will add depth and options to a United midfielder currently also missing Scott McTominay and Donny van de Beek.

Ten Hag happy to sign Marcel Sabitzer

Explaining why he swooped to bring Sabitzer in and what he will offer the club, Ten Hag gave an honest reply to the club’s official site.

“We are really happy with that transfer because we need it after Donny van de Beek dropped out. Now Christian Eriksen is out for a longer time and also, I think for a short time, Scott McTominay is also not available,” he said.

“So that gives us a shortage of midfield players. But then to bring a quality player in on deadline day that is difficult, and we got this opportunity.”

Ten Hag is also backing the Austria international to succeed at Old Trafford.

“I know the player already a long time from [RB] Salzburg,” he continued. “Especially from [RB] Leipzig.

“He performed fantastically, so I expect that he will do the same here.

“I think he has a great attitude; he is at the right age, and I am sure this opportunity will motivate him greatly and he will perform strongly for us.”

On Eriksen’s absence, Ten Hag added: “I think you see the first half that Eriksen, when he’s not there, it’s a different dynamic in the team.”

In a separate interview, he commented. “It doesn’t have to be worse. Only the team has to adapt and that takes time.

“But time we don’t have [time]. The next game is already coming. We have two days and then the Premier League will restart.”

Warning shot fired by Sabitzer agent

After United tackle Palace, the Red Devils face a double header against Leeds United. The first game is next Wednesday at Old Trafford, with the follow up at Elland Road on Sunday week.

Sabitzer found game-time hard to come by at Bayern Munich, making just 10 starts this season, with many more off the bench.

He will hope to be more involved at Old Trafford than he was at the Allianz Arena.

And his agent has told Ten Hag he will have a happy player on his hands if he gets regular minutes. However, in a chilling warning, Roger Wittmann has warned the United boss that benching him will make the player very unhappy pretty quickly.

“[He’s] the most unpleasant person to be around when he’s not playing,” Wittmann said. “He hates it when he loses. That’s the bottom line. Character-wise, the kid is a killer. That’s what players who always want to win look like.”

On his move to the Red Devils, Sabitzer said: “Sometimes in life you have to make quick and important decisions. From the moment I heard about this opportunity I knew it was right for me.

“I am a competitive player; I want to win and help the club achieve its aims this season.

“I feel that I am at my peak as a player and that I can contribute a lot of experience and energy to the squad. I am excited to start with my new teammates and manager and to show my qualities to Manchester United fans.”

READ MORE ~ Marcel Sabitzer: Comparing his 2022/23 league stats to the other midfielders at Manchester United