Erik ten Hag has been told to follow in Sir Alex Ferguson’s footsteps by landing a world-class player for Manchester United this summer.
The Red Devils have had a relatively quiet January transfer window so far. They have brought in two players, both on loan deals.
The first is Jack Butland. He has moved to Old Trafford on loan from Crystal Palace until the end of the season.
The goalkeeper, who will provide backup for David de Gea, also has the option of joining Man Utd permanently once his Palace contract expires at the end of the season.
Wout Weghorst followed Butland to Man Utd on January 13. They paid £2.5million to terminate the striker’s Besiktas spell. He then joined Man Utd on loan from Burnley until the end of the campaign.
Those two moves are not ground-breaking by any stretch of the imagination. And it is unlikely Ten Hag will be able to spend much more money this month.
But this could be a club strategy to save money for some big summer transfer dealings. Man Utd are being linked with a raid on Tottenham for world-class goalscorer Harry Kane.
The 29-year-old is facing an uncertain future at Tottenham. His contract there expires in summer 2024. And if Antonio Conte fails to guide the club to any silverware this term, then Kane will likely hand in a transfer request.
Man Utd looking into Harry Kane deal
The Daily Mail provided their information on a potential Man Utd move for Kane on Saturday. They claim club chiefs at Old Trafford are exploring the possibility of signing him.
Man Utd would have previously been put off by the astronomical demands of Spurs chairman Daniel Levy. But his negotiating position has been weakened by the fact Kane’s Spurs contract is running down. As such, the England captain could fall into Ten Hag’s price range.
talkSPORT pundit Tony Cascarino has given his verdict on the transfer rumours. He has told Ten Hag to do what Ferguson would have done by raiding a direct Premier League rival for one of their best players, while also explaining why Man Utd would be a great fit for Kane.
“It’s absolutely what Ferguson would have done,” Cascarino said. “He bought Teddy Sheringham when he was 31, he got Dimitar Berbatov at a similar age  and Robin van Persie was 29 when Fergie signed him.
“Even though he’s [going to be] 30, Kane doesn’t rely on pace, so that’s a big asset for a player.
“Would Manchester United be the right club for him? Absolutely, of course it is. Look at the stature of the club, they want to challenge and next year Ten Hag has every ambition, you can quite clearly see he wants to be title challengers next year.
England skipper ‘one hell of a striker’
“If you’re going for Harry Kane, he’s another part of the puzzle you’re putting together, because he is one hell of a striker.”
Cascarino continued: “I can’t see how Tottenham can keep him. They can try and push to give him fresh ideas to stay, I think they’ve tried to pacify him by appointing the type of managers they have, showing the ambition of having Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte.
“But time is running out for Harry. Now he’s 30, he’s looking and thinking, ‘I need to win things. I want to win things’.
“If you see his reaction to City’s third goal this week, it’s… wow, he’s literally shell shocked about how Spurs capitulated.
“I think he’s shown his love for Spurs and how much he’s done for them as a football club and it would be the right time to go.”
Kane would take Man Utd to next level
Kane would be the perfect replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo at Man Utd. He is one of the best goal-getters in the world who can also link up play and assist his team-mates.
He would bag Man Utd at least 20-25 goals next season, which could help them lift the Premier League title for the first time since 2012-13.
As Cascarino states, Kane is facing a big decision in the next few months. He must choose whether he wants to maintain his brilliant Spurs legacy or prioritise trophies.
If he stays at Spurs, he runs the risk of being one of Europe’s best ever goalscorers, who has never actually won a major trophy.
Whereas if Kane goes to Man Utd, then he would have a better chance at ending that poor streak. The Red Devils may have struggled in recent seasons, but Ten Hag looks set to take them to new heights.