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Ten Hag at odds with Ratcliffe as Man Utd boss makes specific ‘top’ signing his absolute priority

Man Utd manager Erik ten Hag and co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe

Erik ten Hag and Man Utd part-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe

Erik ten Hag and Sir Jim Ratcliffe are in disagreement over the transfers Manchester United need to make first this summer, according to reports.

Ten Hag is hoping to keep his job as Man Utd manager, despite Ratcliffe and Sir Dave Brailsford looking into whether he is suitable to take the team forward. Amid uncertainty over Ten Hag’s future, Man Utd have been linked with moves for Gareth Southgate, Julian Nagelsmann, Graham Potter and Thiago Motta, among others.

The Dutchman could keep his job by guiding Man Utd to FA Cup glory and helping them pull off the improbable task of securing Champions League qualification for next season.

But if Ten Hag stays at Old Trafford, he will need to have some serious conversations about how the Man Utd squad will look next term.

Ratcliffe appears determined to bolster the defence this summer, with two new centre-backs and a left-back on his to-do list.

The British billionaire is keen on Everton star Jarrad Branthwaite and Benfica’s Antonio Silva. Ratcliffe has also greenlighted an approach for Fulham’s Tosin Adarabioyo, as TEAMtalk revealed earlier on Friday.

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In terms of a new left-back, possible options include Girona ace Miguel Gutierrez and Melvin Bard, who represents Ratcliffe’s other club, Nice.

But Ten Hag is busy coming up with his own summer transfer plans, and there is not much overlap with Ratcliffe’s aims.

Man Utd set for crucial summer transfer window

According to The Athletic, Ten Hag is desperate for Man Utd to bring in a ‘top’ midfielder this summer. The report does not mention any specific targets, though Joao Neves of Benfica and Everton’s Amadou Onana are likely on Ten Hag’s radar.

Man Utd signing either Neves or Onana would see Casemiro and Sofyan Amrabat get brutally replaced. The defensive midfielders have been lacklustre this season and Man Utd need fresh legs to partner Kobbie Mainoo going forward.

Once the midfield is bolstered, Ten Hag is gunning for Man Utd to bring in a quality striker who can lessen the weight on Rasmus Hojlund’s shoulders.

Ivan Toney would be a great solution, as he has proven himself to be a lethal Premier League goalscorer while at Brentford. It has even been claimed that his price tag has fallen massively to just £30-40m, though Man Utd will need to fend off Arsenal and Chelsea to finalise a deal with Brentford.

Alternatively, Ten Hag could push Ratcliffe to snare a younger striker such as Joshua Zirkzee, who could bounce off Hojlund as the pair improve simultaneously.

It is clear that Ten Hag and Ratcliffe currently have very different ideas when it comes to Man Utd’s summer signings. The pair must hold meetings in the coming weeks to firm up their transfer plans, as this will help Man Utd get closer to their ultimate aim of winning the Premier League title once again.

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