Erik ten Hag insists Man Utd will not buy a new holding midfielder for the sake of it if they fail in their pursuit of Frenkie de Jong and other top targets.
The Red Devils have been trying to bring De Jong to Old Trafford for the past couple of months and have reportedly agreed a deal worth €75m plus €10m extra in add-ons.
However, there is still a lot to sort out with De Jong waiting to sort out £17m he’s owed by Barcelona in deferred wages and bonuses from during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
There have even been rumours that De Jong would prefer a move to Chelsea or Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich over a transfer to Man Utd.
And Ten Hag insists they will go with what they’ve got next season if they can’t land their top midfield targets.
“What I can say is we’re looking for a player who can play in the holding midfield position, but it has to be the right one,” Ten Hag said.
“There are not many in that position capable of the level we demand. When we can’t find him, we have to deal with the players in our squad now and we will develop one in that position.
“I will not comment on a certain player. We need the right player. We have a list and we qualify as the player who has the competence to play that role. We will strike the moment the player is available.”
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 19, 2022
Man Utd have signed Feyenoord’s Tyrell Malacia and free agent Christian Eriksen, while they are on the verge of completing a transfer for Ajax’s Lisandro Martinez.
And reacting to the news that Eriksen – who played for Brentford during the second half of last season – has joined the club, Ten Hag added: “He’s an experienced player. He plays in countries abroad, in Italy, in Holland, a long time in England, so he knows the Premier League. It’s an absolute advantage that we have him in.
“I think he is a magnificent football player and I think the fans will enjoy watching him, because he’s creative, he has ideas. I think especially our strikers will also be happy because he’s the one who can involve them in the game.”
Ten Hag added: “The fact that we’ve got him, we have him [Eriksen] now in our squad, tells everything, because I think we were really selective. It was not the point to get players in, but the right players in. I’m really happy that we succeeded with Christian Eriksen.”