Newcastle ‘made tentative enquiries’ about United player who Ten Hag sees as ‘pivotal’

Date published: Tuesday 28th June 2022 3:32 - Jason Soutar

Erik ten Hag arrives at Selhurst Park

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag reportedly sees Scott McTominay as a “pivotal” part of his plans at Old Trafford.

The Dutchman took over as Red Devils boss at the end of last season after Ralf Rangnick’s indifferent stint as interim manager.

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He is very keen to improve his midfield after a bitterly disappointing season for the club.

Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong – who Ten Hag managed at Ajax – is a top target, and United have reportedly made a breakthrough in their negotiations with the La Liga outfit.

However, it is believed that the Dutch manager won’t look to recruit another central midfielder this summer despite the loss of Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Nemanja Matic and Juan Mata.

Although this could change if the Old Trafford club fail to land free agent Christian Eriksen, who operates in a more attacking role.

According to The Times, there is some interest in Leicester City playmaker Youri Tielemans – who is out of contract next summer – though it is unclear how high on Ten Hag’s list the Belgian sits.

Ten Hag is a huge fan of Scotland midfielder McTominay, who is seen “as a pivotal player in his first team plans”.

“United will resist any offers” for the 25-year-old and the report adds that Newcastle, and one other Premier League club, “made tentative enquiries about McTominay’s availability earlier in the transfer window”.

The midfielder is regarded as untouchable, and although no formal offer has been made, it is believed that United would reject any advances.

In terms of incoming signings in other positions, United have been linked with Ajax’s Antony and Lisandro Martinez.

Dutch journalist Marcel van der Kraan has insisted that Ajax are hoping to get as much as £130m for the pair this summer.

Van der Kraan told Sky Sports: “Martinez has two offers from England, one is from Arsenal and one is from Manchester United. But, when I say offer, there’s been an offer to the club to talk, there’s been offer to his agent to discuss things.

“And there is not an absolute concrete money offer on the table yet but that could soon happen. Then again he’s an expensive one because Ajax are demanding £45m- £50m for this player.

“Why is this? Ajax have no need to sell any more players. They have the money, they are financially ok and they have said: look, if anybody comes in for Martinez, or Antony for instance – who is worth £80m in the eyes of Ajax – the prices they are asking are absolutely huge because they have no need to sell.”

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