Ten Hag given ‘recommendation’ by Man Utd right-hand man about ‘unbelievable’ World Cup defender

Lewis Oldham
Ten Hag advised by McClaren

An in-form World Cup right-back has reportedly been “recommended” by Manchester United assistant Steve McClaren to head coach Erik ten Hag.

The player in question is Celtic and Croatia defender Josip Juranovic.

Celtic got themselves a bargain last year as it only cost them around £2.5m to sign the 27-year-old from Legia Warsaw.

Juranovic has been an ever-present for Croatia at the World Cup in Qatar. He has been one of the tournament’s breakout stars as the European nation have reached the semi-finals once again.

The Croatia star is the player who has impressed former Arsenal and Chelsea defender William Gallas most in Qatar.

“I will say the Croatian right back, Josip Juranović. What he did against Brazil was just unbelievable,” Gallas told Genting Casino.

“He had to play against Vinicuis Jr, Neymar drifted over to his side, the guy defended very well and, at the same time, he was attacking.

“Can you imagine putting in a performance like that against that level of opponent? Normally when you know that you have to keep players like Neymar and Vinicius quiet what do you do?

“You think, tonight I’m going to have a nightmare and I will just have to defend, I won’t attack. When he had the opportunity, he was attacking. What he did in that game was unbelievable.”

Man Utd were briefly linked with Juranovic during the summer but a move did not come to fruition.

They are in the market for a new right-back as they are looking to find a replacement for Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

United are currently relying on Diogo Dalot as he is the only current right-back who is trusted by Ten Hag.

At left-back meanwhile, the Dutchman has Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia who have both featured regularly this season.

The Daily Mail reported during the summer that Celtic value Juranovic at £15m. But given his recent performances, it is likely that he will cost more.

The Scottish side are in a strong position as the defender’s contract is not due to expire until 2026.

Journalist Dean Jones has now reported that Juranovic is at least a player who McClaren “really likes”.

“As we said before, McClaren really likes this guy, and that’s where I’m told the recommendation comes from,” Jones told GiveMeSport.

“I guess, typically, Ten Hag is going to look to prefer his own guys over anyone else recommending people.

“But ultimately, he’s now been able to see him at the World Cup, and it’s a very easy way to scope out a player in real time, especially when they’re playing games of their own.”

READ MORE: Transfer gossip… James Maddison a ‘top target’ for Liverpool as Man Utd bid £80m for Croatia star