Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Top midfielder says summer transfer to Man Utd is on after claiming he has Ten Hag’s ‘trust’

Austria's Marcel Sabitzer (right) and England's Jude Bellingham battle for the ball during the International Friendly at The Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is reportedly set to finalise his first business of the summer – and the move will see a top midfielder signing on the dotted line at Old Trafford.

The Red Devils are making rapid strides under the Dutchman and he has exceeded all expectations in his first season at the helm. With the Carabao Cup in the bag, more silverware could be delivered in the FA Cup and Europa League. That would match the cup treble famously delivered by rivals Liverpool back in 2001.

Most crucially, the club looks well on course to secure a return to the Champions League next season. Winning the Europa League would guarantee that, though Ten Hag’s side are also on course to achieve that via a top-four Premier League finish.

The nucleus of their progress has been a combination of Ten Hag’s tactical expertise, an ability to get the best out of under-performing stars – Marcus Rashford being the prime example – and the arrival of some key squad additions.

Indeed, the United boss was allowed to spend over £200m in the summer window. And while he went over budget, the results have certainly vindicated his decisions.

A more modest January window resulted in just three additions: Wout Weghorst, Jack Butland and Marcel Sabitzer.

The latter was a late-window arrival from Bayern Munich, signing on loan with an option to buy.

But for an injury to Christian Eriksen, the move for Sabitzer might not have come about.

But the Austrian has taken his chance with both hands. And he now believes a permanent £18m switch is on the cards.

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Sabitzer has ‘found a place’ at Man Utd

The 29-year-old has featured in 12 games since his transfer from Bayern, scoring his first goal for the club in the recent FA Cup win over Fulham.

He also has an assist to his name, further illustrating that he has found his feet at Old Trafford.

Speaking to Bild (via Fabrizio Romano), Sabitzer has dropped a major hint over a permanent stay.

“Of course my thoughts are on Man United, especially with the trust I get from Erik ten Hag. It’s very positive.

“I found my place here. Now I know the Premier League and can say there’s nothing better.”

Those claims were also recently backed up by journalist Dean Jones. However, he feels United are not in an immediate hurry to tie him down.

“We have to remember he was an emergency signing,” he told Givemesport. “So while it is possible he’ll join permanently, first and foremost Ten Hag’s going to have an eye on signing someone significant for that midfield, you know, a long-term regular of a very high level.

“I think that it’s only after those conversations that they’ll go back to Sabitzer. I don’t feel like there’ll be much rush to do it, because I don’t think the demand would be that great for him.”

Wright impressed by Sabitzer

To that end, United are pursuing a number of other options with Frenkie De Jong remaining among their targets.

However, a school of thought now reckons a move to sign Jude Bellingham could be on after Liverpool exited the race.

Any move will also likely impress Ian Wright. He tipped his cap to the Austrian after their recent 1-0 win over Brentford. During the game, the Austrian operated in a more advanced role, with Bruno Fernandes dropping deeper.

“You have to say, Sabitzer came up with the goods today,” Wright told Premier League Productions.

“With the assist and in certain other areas, he was getting into pockets, making some nice little moves and always making himself available.

“He got taken off in the end. But I thought he did more than enough tonight in that number 10 position.”

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