Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Ten Hag wins as Man Utd kickstart second centre-back signing, with new discounted bid to seal deal

Man Utd manager Erik ten Hag, Bayern Munich centre-back Matthijs De Ligt

Ten Hag is seriously considering signing Matthijs De Ligt

Manchester United have taken the first steps towards signing a second high profile centre-back thanks in large part to Erik ten Hag, and a report has revealed the transfer won’t cost as much as first thought.

Ten Hag was made to wait 16 days after the FA Cup final before learning his fate, though the Dutchman ultimately survived the club’s internal review.

With the managerial uncertainty laid to rest and Ten Hag in talks to sign a contract extension, Man Utd can turn their attention to attacking the transfer window which opened on Friday.

Centre-back is where much of the early action at Old Trafford will lay. Raphael Varane is leaving as a free agent and United are open to offers for Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof. Jonny Evans is in talks over agreeing a contract extension, though the veteran hasn’t yet signed.

One and more probably two new additions are required at the heart of defence. Man Utd have already agreed personal terms with their No 1 target, Jarrad Branthwaite.

However, signing the 21-year-old Everton ace is not straightforward due to the sizeable valuation gap.

Everton believe Branthwaite is worth £70m and reports have claimed they’ll only go as low as £65m or potentially even £60m.

By contrast, TEAMtalk learned Man Utd do not wish to overpay and that was reflected in their opening offer for the left-footer.

United bid £35m plus £8m in add-ons. Predictably, Everton did not hesitate when rejecting the deal worth £43m in total.

The expectation is Man Utd will continue to pursue Branthwaite, though they’re unwillingness to overspend is in part due to the fact they want a second signing in the position.

READ MORE: Man Utd centre-back targets: Every option linked for a summer switch assessed

Man Utd kickstart De Ligt transfer

Bayern Munich’s Matthijs De Ligt is another high profile defender on the club’s radar. Ten Hag previously managed his fellow Dutchman at Ajax and the United boss is the one who is the driving force behind Man Utd’s chase.

According to a fresh update from Sky Germany’s Florian Plettenberg, Man Utd have kickstarted their pursuit.

Taking to X, Plettenberg revealed Man Utd have ‘started internal discussions’ over the transfer. Plettenberg confirmed De Ligt is being targeted ‘primarily because of Erik ten Hag.’

Bayern have given the green light to a sale after transfer-listing the player. The Bavarians have already signed one centre-back this summer in the form of Hiroki Ito from Stuttgart and hope to pluck Jonathan Tah from Bayer Leverkusen too.

De Ligt is therefore surplus to requirements for new manager Vincent Kompany and prior reports claimed a deal could be made for €60m.

But per the latest from Plettenberg, Man Utd can actually strike an agreement for the discounted sum of €50m/£42.3m.

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