Manchester United have put three extremely high profile stars up for sale, with a report naming one of two likely signings in January when the deck has been cleared.
When recently asked by the United We Stand fanzine whether Man Utd would make additions next month, Ten Hag played down expectations.
“I don’t think so — and if so, the approach from United should be that if you can improve your team, then you should do,” said the Dutchman
“What we expect from every player coming to Carrington every day is for them to give their maximum, to give their best.
“As a club, you have to look for improvements, so if you can find better and it’s realistic financially and with financial fair play, I think the club has to go with it.
“But realistically, in relation to the market, most of the time you don’t attract the best players in the winter.
“The top, top players will not leave their clubs in the winter. It’s players who are disappointed, injured or just not the right fit or whatever.”
Ten Hag’s comments painted a gloomy picture for United’s prospects in the winter window. However, according to The Independent, the manager’s low-key assessment may be a red herring.
The Independent acknowledged United must sell before they can buy, though per the outlet, that’s exactly what they intend to do. To that end, three major names Raphael Varane, Casemiro and Jadon Sancho have been put up for sale.
In The Independent’s words, Man Utd are ‘willing to listen to offers’ for the trio who were signed for a combined £184m (including add-ons).
Ten Hag is determined to streamline his squad and also boot out those believed to either be responsible for the frequent club leaks or those who are damaging team morale. It’s clarified not all of Varane, Casemiro and Sancho are necessarily posing problems for Ten Hag. Nonetheless, all are now ‘available for transfer’ as early as January.
British pair win Ten Hag’s trust
Two United stars who were on the chopping block in the summer have earned a reprieve and will now be retained beyond the January window.
Harry Maguire and Scott McTominay are the pair in question, with the duo among United’s hardest working players and top performers of late.
Where could Varane, Casemiro, Sancho go?
Varane’s camp have already fielded enquiries from Saudi Arabian sides. However, he’s understood to favour remaining in Europe if leaving United. Bayern Munich, Marseille and Lens have all been linked.
The Independent state Ten Hag is seeking a ‘different type of midfielder’ to Casemiro in his engine room moving forwards. That’s despite the veteran Brazilian being Ten Hag’s signing just over one year ago. Sancho, meanwhile, could be swapped with Borussia Dortmund’s Donyell Malen next month, according to BILD.
The report also noted that incoming part-owner, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, is unlikely to have a major say on how United’s winter window shakes out.
Ratcliffe is primed to assume full sporting control once his purchase of a 25 percent stake has been ratified. But given the close proximity to the January window, Ratcliffe’s influence will be ‘limited’ and the major transfer decisions next month will be made by Ten Hag.
Two signings wanted once superstars ousted
If United successfully shift some of their top earners, additions at centre-half and central midfield are wanted. That makes sense given Varane (centre-back) and Casemiro (central midfield) are up for grabs.
The Independent name Nice’s Jean-Clair Todibo as one player who is ‘commonly expected’ to take Varane’s place and bolster the defence at Old Trafford. The 23-year-old has starred for Nice this term who have remarkably conceded just five goals in 14 matches.
Todibo is valued around the £40m mark and given Nice are owned by Ratcliffe’s INEOS group, a move could be straightforward to complete. Todibo has been described as United’s number one January transfer target by The Mirror. What’s more, the Frenchman is reportedly keen on moving to England next month.