Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag appears firmly focused on strengthening his central midfield options this summer amid claims they are ready to hold talks over deals for two targets.
The Red Devils have made rapid strides under the Dutchman’s leadership this season, already collecting the Carabao Cup. More silverware could follow if they see off Manchester City – easier said than done – in the FA Cup final. And most crucially, they are also on track to return to the Champions League by way of a top-four Premier League finish.
However, Ten Hag is well aware that work still needs to be done to strengthen his squad further this summer.
To that end, the United boss is piecing his transfer wishlist with a number of areas of focus.
Indeed, they are firmly in the hunt to sign a new centre-forward with Wout Weghorst’s temporary spell coming to an end. The likes of Harry Kane, Victor Osimhen and Goncalo Ramos are most frequently tipped as targets.
The United boss is also seemingly keen on adding another centre-half to his ranks. And while Kim Min-jae’s representative has moved to play down talks that a move is on the cards, United are still expected to pursue a deal.
And with a new right-back also on their radar, little is written about United’s possible chase for a new midfielder.
The club did bring in Casemiro and Christian Eriksen last summer to add both strength and guile to midfield.
But with a permanent deal now unlikely for Marcel Sabitzer, Ten Hag is reportedly casting his eye over a number of potential options.
Man Utd target deals for French midfield duo
Indeed, RMC Sport claims Ten Hag is now focusing his attention on two players in particular.
And the French outlet claims the Red Devils boss is targeting a deal for Borussia Monchengladbach star Kouadio Kone.
The 21-year-old is under contract with the Bundesliga side until summer 2025 so will not come cheap. However, the Bundesliga side are seemingly open to his sale if a sizeable offer comes their way.
Kone, rated in the €50m (£44m) bracket, is also attrracting attention from Chelsea and PSG this summer.
However, they claim he is rated highly by United’s scouts. And, believing he is destined for a huge future in the game, an approach for his services is being prepped.
United are also hot on the trail for Adrien Rabiot amid a belief that a deal can finally be struck. Director of football John Murtough is strongly keen on adding the Juventus star to the mix, having failed last summer.
However, his deal with the Bianconeri is due to expire in six weeks time, granting Rabiot free agency status.
And while he has been offered a contract extension to stay, United are readying a fresh push to sign him.
Talks to begin for Rabiot in matter of days
Per the article, his mother and agent, Veronique Rabiot, will begin negotiations with interested parties – including United – in a matter of days.
United are reportedly willing to offer Rabiot a deal worth in the region of £160,000 a week.
Whether United move to sign both Rabiot and Kone though appears unlikely. Indeed, it is probably a case of one or the other; unless something significant changes.
To that end, it’s reported one of Scott McTominay or Fred could depart this summer. And Ten Hag will not stand in either player’s way if a sizeable offer comes in.
Any such exit would give Ten Hag the licence to strengthen his engine room in what he perceives as something of an area of weakness.
To that end, Ten Hag is seemingly determined to sign a new partner for Casemiro to operate in his preferred 4-2-3-1 formation.