Man Utd receive £152m double striker transfer boost as Ten Hag genius comes to light

Editor F365

Erik ten Hag is the mastermind behind a Man Utd transfer boost, with Harry Kane pretty much through the door and Mason Mount failing to escape speculation.


Clever gonna give you up
With one £78m striker rejection fresh in the mind, Man Utd can happily focus on other targets.

And thanks to the absolute genius of Erik ten Hag, they are in pole position to secure Atalanta forward Rasmus Hojlund this summer, at least if the Daily Mirror website is to be believed. And they sometimes are.

‘Erik ten Hag’s clever transfer tactic hands Man Utd crucial upper hand in striker search,’ reads an intriguing headline to a story detailing ‘a major boost’ to their hopes of signing Hojlund.

What has the remarkably sensible Dutchman done this time? What ‘clever transfer tactic’ has he devised to secure a £52m signing? Is Phil Neville back at Old Trafford as director of football?

Not quite. You see, the Mirror website are masters of scouring the internet for any potentially buried ledes and forming entire stories around them, as if presenting completely new information. And this line comes from Laurie Whitwell’s story on the Man Utd striker search in The Athletic.

Eight paragraphs deep into that article, it is revealed that:

‘Hojlund has signed up with the SEG agency in expectation of a move at some stage in his short- to medium-term future. Ten Hag is also represented by SEG, whose co-founder Kees Vos is a regular at Old Trafford. Voss watched United’s win over Fulham on Sunday from the directors’ box.’

That, dear reader, is the extent of Ten Hag’s ‘clever transfer tactic’: to already be represented by the co-founder of an agency a possible transfer target has recently joined.


Not in a Harry
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that’s the only striker BOOST for Man Utd on the eve of their FA Cup final; it’s not even the only one the Daily Mirror website have spotted.

‘Man Utd handed boost as Harry Kane snubs rival and makes transfer priority clear,’ is the headline to a piece by John Cross, detailing how Kane’s preference to stay in the Premier League has probably ruled out a move to Paris Saint-Germain that was never particularly likely to happen.

Boom. Now just to navigate that simple path through a negotiation with Daniel Levy. Which it turns out Man Utd might not bother with after all.


Mount a comeback
Mediawatch did chuckle to itself at this opening paragraph from the MailOnline

‘Mason Mount has escaped increasing speculation over his future by jetting off to Spain with friends, including Chelsea team-mate Ben Chilwell.’

…to an 800-word story speculating on Mason Mount’s future, the headline to which begins: ‘Mason Mount mulls over his future…’

Enjoy the holiday, fella.

READ MOREMason Mount to Man Utd the unacceptable cherry on top of Todd Boehly’s sh*t Chelsea sundae


‘Avin’ me on
‘Stunned Man Utd fans say ‘no way this is real’ as Avram Glazer commits football’s biggest sin in photo gaffe’ – The Sun website.

Well ‘football’s biggest sin’ is obviously spitting (would rather be on the end of a leg-breaking tackle), time-wasting, diving or wearing a half-and-half scarf, but Avram Glazer has surely not been caught perpetrating any of them.

Of course not. He posed for a picture with a Liverpool fan. And that truly is a ‘photo gaffe’ of story-worthy proportions.


Tell me why
‘Harry Maguire explains why Manchester United can win FA Cup’ – Manchester Evening News.

Is it because they’re in the final? Either way, the wider football media’s struggle with the difference between ‘why’ and ‘how’ continues unchecked.


Ange me down
Mediawatch has recently noted the glory that is ‘how x team could line up if this reported possibility happens,’ with either a raft of fresh signings slotting in or a new manager making his mark.

But this offering from The Sun website might be the most underwhelming of the genre yet, as they tell us: ‘How Tottenham could line up under Postecoglou with 33-goal Japan star replacing Harry Kane’

With the excellent Kyogo Furuhashi the only new signing – meaning Fraser Forster replaces Hugo Lloris in net for next season – it does beg the question as to just what is the absolute bare minimum amount of imagination possible for such a feature.

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou


Football headline of the day
‘Martin Odegaard goes public with stunning dancer girlfriend who licks his face’ – The Sun website.

Well alright.


Kewell runnings


And one last thing…
It only seems fair to finish on Ian Ladyman’s impotent fury at his Sky Sports subscription not being tailored specifically to him.

‘So it seems it’s OK to like Graeme Souness again,’ he writes in the Daily Mail (a publication, coincidentally, for whom Souness writes a weekly column).

‘Now that he has been on television talking emotionally about his plan to swim the channel to help poorly children, it’s OK to tell the world how much you admire him.

‘Strange how it wasn’t so fashionable to stand up for him back in the opening month of the football season. That was when Souness spoke on Sky following a match between Chelsea and Tottenham and described it as a ‘man’s game’. No, back then, it was much easier to join the social-media throng, shake your head and talk about what a dinosaur he was.’

It’s almost as if – and bear with Mediawatch here – it’s possible to have the utmost respect for Souness when it comes to his charity work, while simultaneously being able to question some of his views. And that holding the opinion that he is a decent but flawed man is perfectly justifiable.

What he is doing now and some of the things he has done in the past are absolutely brilliant. Many of the the things he has said, less so.

But the decision not to renew the contract of Souness – which sounded entirely mutual if anything – has Ladyman ‘asking who exactly the big beasts like the BBC and in this instance Sky have in mind when putting their output together’.

He is equally furious at the possible departure of Geoff Shreeves, then drops in this anecdote about another ousted former Sky pundit:

‘Optics are everything these days, or so it seems. Gordon Strachan will never forget the day he walked out of a Sky studio after a debate programme, was thanked by a producer for his contribution to a ‘great show’ and went home.

‘Only a week later was the former Leeds and Manchester United player called to say there had been a complaint about something he had said. Strachan never worked for Sky again and to this day recalls the episode in his life with the countenance of someone hung, drawn and quartered for a crime he never fully understood.’

Hide it behind words like ‘optics’ all you want, Ian, but there is a reason you yourself have omitted the actual known reason behind Strachan being dropped: because he conflated convicted sex offender Adam Johnson’s situation with racist abuse.

To pretend that ‘there had been a complaint about something he had said’ without actually disclosing it is ridiculous. And that Strachan ‘never fully understood’ what happened is damning of someone, but it isn’t Sky Sports.