Man Utd: INEOS back Ten Hag with ‘five-window plan’ as four alternatives to Giroud-like star are named

Joe Williams
Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag
Erik ten Hag wants a new striker for next season.

Man Utd are ready to back Erik ten Hag in the transfer market as they come up with a ‘five-window plan’ for signings, according to former CBS Sports journalist Ben Jacobs.

The Red Devils had a rotten season in the Premier League with Ten Hag’s side finishing eighth, while they were also eliminated from Europe before Christmas after coming bottom of their Champions League group.

That piled the pressure on Ten Hag’s job towards the end of the season but an unlikely FA Cup final victory over arch-rivals Man City saved the Man Utd boss.

It was widely reported that Man Utd also considered other potential candidates to replace Ten Hag but the lack of available top-class managers also did the Dutchman a favour.

But Man Utd are now looking to agree a new contract with Ten Hag and Jacobs insists that INEOS “want to back” him and are “formulating a five-window plan”.

Jacobs wrote in his GiveMeSport column: “Ratcliffe is desperate to have an impact in his first window in charge of the sporting side, believing doing so will set the tone. But, ultimately, he knows everything needed on the football side cannot be achieved in just one summer, especially with financial rules to abide by.

👉 Man Utd, Chelsea transfer boost as £30m striker target ‘would love’ to play in Premier League
👉 Ratcliffe slams ‘unfair’ UEFA rule with Man Utd transfer ‘off’ as owner ponders selling club
👉 Man Utd offers £33m with Barcelona to ‘agree sacrifice’ of Arsenal target ‘against Flick’s will’

“Manchester United are formulating a five-window plan, so there is an appreciation that patience is needed. But the next few months are nonetheless crucial, since now it has been confirmed Ten Hag is staying, INEOS want to back him. Doing so may make it easier for the Red Devils boss to stomach ceding a bit of recruitment control.”

A report this week claimed that Man Utd are looking to ‘hijack’ AC Milan’s deal to sign Bologna forward Joshua Zirkzee and Jacobs has revealed the Red Devils’ alternatives if they miss out on the former Under-21 Netherlands international.

Jacobs added: “Manchester United have made contact with Joshua Zirkzee, a target they have had on their radar since February. The Bologna striker has a similar profile to Olivier Giroud and has a €40m release clause. AC Milan are already committed to paying it, and remain hopeful of getting the deal over the line. But costly agent commissions have proven a stumbling block, opening up the door to a potential Old Trafford hijack.

“Evan Ferguson, Ivan Toney and Jonathan David – of Brighton & Hove Albion, Brentford and Lille respectively – are also all possibilities. Manchester United could also turn their attentions towards Stuttgart’s Serhou Guirassy, who is being looked at by Chelsea and has a £15m release clause and scored 30 goals in 30 games last season.

“The other position that ten Hag wants to strengthen is at left-back, and the Red Devils are tracking Bournemouth’s Milos Kerkez. The 20-year-old is currently at Euro 2024 with Hungary. Bournemouth do not want to sell and value Kerkez at around £35m.

“Manchester United will also try to bring in a midfielder if Casemiro departs. The Brazilian, who is contracted until 2026, still needs persuading to go to Saudi Arabia. Part of his decision will factor in what kind of role Ten Hag has for him next season. Al-Hilal and Al-Nassr both hold an interest. Saudi dealmakers would be looking to pay between €30m and €35m with some add-ons on top.”