Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Ten Hag deadline to spark action, as senior Sky source updates six Man Utd transfers including De Jong, Antony

Ajax pair Lisandro Martinez and Antony

The status of six Man Utd transfers have been detailed amid Erik ten Hag giving the club a date they must try and complete the bulk of their incomings by.

The Red Devils are yet to notch their first signing of the summer. The Ten Hag era has begun with a stutter as far as the market is concerned, though there are a whole host of irons in the fire.

Moves for players at goalkeeper, centre-half, left-back, central midfield and on the wing are all either heavily touted, in discussion, or on the verge of completion.

And seemingly with the intention of giving the club the hurry up, Sky Sports report Ten Hag wants the vast majority of United’s deals done by July 8.

That is the date United jet off for their pre-season tour, beginning with a match against Liverpool in Thailand on July 12.

The date gives United’s recruitment team just eight days to wrap up as many deals as they can. Now, Sky Sports News’ senior reporter, Melissa Reddy, has provided an update on six of United’s potential moves.

De Jong agreement in place

Firstly, she reported a ‘basic agreement’ is in place to sign Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong. The 25-year-old Dutchman is the highest profile name Manchester United are targeting this summer.

Reports have differed as to the amount United have agreed to pay Barcelona before add-ons. Some outlets claim the initial fee is £56m, while other have listed £64m.

Regardless, an agreement over the fee does appear to be in place and all attention is now on convincing the player to move.

Also in midfield, Reddy added a contract offer for Christian Eriksen remains on the table. The Dane is still ‘deciding whether to accept an offer at United or remain at Brentford.’ Tottenham now appear out of the race.

In defence, Reddy reaffirmed Ajax’s determination to retain Jurrien Timber. The young centre-back may decide to stay put anyway because of an intervention from Netherlands boss, Louis van Gaal.

Jurrien Timber, Louis van Gaal Netherlands June 2022

With Timber unlikely to move, a deal for Lisandro Martinez will assume greater importance.

The Argentine is also on Arsenal’s radar and the Gunners have reportedly lodged a £34m bid. However, the Sun claimed Martinez will become Ten Hag’s top priority once a De Jong deal is wrapped up.

Reddy confirmed United’s interest and noted the club are conducting their due diligence on the player.

A Tyrell Malacia steal in the region of £13m is expected to be ‘completed soon’. Signing the Dutch left-back will represent something of a masterstroke for United after swooping in at the eleventh hour to torpedo Lyon’s deal.

Tyrell Malacia to be first Manchester United signing

Manchester United have hijacked a deal for Tyrell Malacia from Feyenoord who was set to join Lyon

Finally, the Red Devils are reportedly ‘in talks’ with Ajax over Brazilian winger, Antony.

The Amsterdam side have hiked up the winger’s valuation in recent days. A move that was projected to cost £40m could now cost around £69m. Clearly, one aim of the talks will be to reduce the elevated fee.

What is Man Utd’s most important move?

Many areas of Ten Hag’s squad require surgery. However, central midfield is arguably the position where they have fallen furthest behind their rivals in recent times.

Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic have both left for free. Fred and Scott McTominay remain, though they don’t possess the quality United require to get back to where they belong.

The duo are known as defensive-minded midfielders. Yet despite playing alongside each other on many occasions last year, United’s conceded their highest number of goals ever in a Premier League campaign.

As such, the arrival of De Jong is unquestionably their most important piece of business.

De Jong won’t add much in defensive side of the game. However, he will help to control the tempo of matches and is always willing to receive the ball in tight areas.

His class, composure and creativity on the ball will give United a focal point from which to build and alleviate pressure in midfield. United have not possessed a player that has given them that option on a consistent basis since Michael Carrick.