Ten Hag ‘handed £70m January war chest’ as Man Utd boss targets ‘three first-team players’

Lewis Oldham
Ten Hag to be backed in January

Erik ten Hag will reportedly be ‘handed a £70m January transfer war chest’ and this will increase to over £100m if Cristiano Ronaldo leaves.

The Dutchman was appointed as Ralf Rangnick’s replacement in the summer and he was keen to put his stamp on his squad.

This is hardly surprising considering how much of a shambles Man Utd were during the 2021/22 campaign.

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Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata and Nemanja Matic departed upon the expiry of their contracts, while Dean Henderson, Eric Bailly and others left on loan.

United are not quite to the level of Man City or Liverpool when it comes to their set-up behind the scenes and that often impacts them when it comes to signings.

The Red Devils were rightly mocked during the summer as they wasted a lot of time targeting Frenkie de Jong, who looks happy to still be at FC Barcelona.

A fee was agreed for the midfielder but the transfer did not advance beyond that stage so United looked elsewhere.

Casemiro emerged as a viable alternative to De Jong and a deal was quickly put in place to sign him from Real Madrid for £60m.

He joined Lisandro Martinez, Tyrell Malacia and Christian Eriksen in signing for the club in the summer.

Aside from De Jong, United’s other primary summer target was Antony from Ajax.

Cody Gakpo was considered as a cheaper alternative but their move for Antony was eventually settled on deadline day as he joined United along with new backup goalkeeper Martin Dubravka.

Antony’s arrival could cost Man Utd as much as £84.8m and this took their spend to around £215m. They did not splurge as much as Chelsea (£250m), but it still stood as a summer which saw them back their new manager.

A couple of players remain at the club after looking to exit in January. Aaron Wan-Bissaka would have gone if United recruited a new right-back, while Cristiano Ronaldo was eager to join a club competing in the Champions League.

The experienced forward did not get his wish and to his surprise, not many teams were interested in him.

Ronaldo must now remain at United until January at the earliest and he has found himself among the substitutes in the Premier League in recent weeks.

The 37-year-old is reportedly open to a mega-money move to Saudi Arabia, though.

The Sun have now revealed that Man Utd are looking ahead to January, with Ten Hag to be given £70m to spend on new players.

They do note though that his transfer fund ‘will increase to £100m-plus if Ronaldo quits’. United were reportedly ‘demanding at least £20m’ for him in the summer.

Ten Hag has ‘held initial talks’ with the club’s hierarchy with them willing to back him again in January.

The report adds: ‘Ten Hag believes he needs at least another three first-team players before the club are ready to compete at the top level again’.