Erik ten Hag’s Man Utd transfer budget, target wishlist and 12 players leaving revealed

Erik ten Hag is facing the same sort of challenge Sir Alex Ferguson did in 1986, and will have a sizeable war chest at his disposal in the summer transfer window

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Erik ten Hag in profile as Man Utd appoint Ajax boss

Erik ten Hag is arguably facing a bigger rebuilding job at Man Utd than Sir Alex Ferguson almost 40 years ago.

United’s feeble 4-0 capitulation at arch rivals Liverpool on Tuesday showed the scale of the task facing Ten Hag, who will become their fifth permanent manager since Ferguson retired in 2013. When Ferguson arrived at United in 1986, he oversaw a major restructuring of the club, broke the drinking culture and changed the mentality that was holding the club back from success.

While Ten Hag does not have to break a booze culture at United, he is facing a radical overhaul of the dismal squad he will inherit, with up to a dozen players needing to go to facilitate the rebuild. Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Jesse Lingard, Edinson Cavani, Juan Mata and Lee Grant are all out of contract this summer and will be on their way.

But at least six other players – Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, Alex Telles, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford – could also go to allow Ten Hag to begin his overhaul. One player who is likely to get a reprieve with the arrival of Ten Hag is Donny van Beek, currently on loan at Everton, who played under United’s new boss at Ajax.

Van de Beek has endured two years in the wilderness at United, but Ten Hag knows how to get the best out of the attacking midfielder and sees a key role going forward for the 25-year-old. With so many players leaving, United will be busy in the transfer market this summer, with around £200million available for Ten Hag to spend on strengthening in key areas.

It took Ferguson four years to win his first trophy and there is an acknowledgment within the club, led by chief executive Richard Arnold, that it could take Ten Hag just as long to turn things around. Targets include England duo Harry Kane and Declan Rice, although they would swallow all of United’s transfer budget, while cheaper options could see moves for Benfica striker Darwin Nunes and wolves midfielder Ruben Neves.







Man Utd hope to bring Harry Kane and Declan Rice to Old Trafford, but could be forced to look elsewhere
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The fall-out from the Anfield debacle was brutal, with former United skipper Gary Neville claiming the current side is the worst he has seen in more than four decades: “I don’t know how to explain how it’s gone from being slightly promising, finishing second last season, to the point of an all time low in my 42 years of watching United.

“I’ve never seen it as bad as that. I’ve never seen a United team wilt in a football game in my 40 years of watching them. The players are broken. There are some decent players out there, they have talent and have played at good levels, but they’re finished and broken this season. It’s a mess.”

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Man Utd were embarrassed by Liverpool at Anfield
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Another former United captain, Roy Keane, echoed Neville and said: “What United have always had, in my experience at the club, was brilliant characters, brilliant men, people you want to work with, people you would be in the trenches with. Bryan Robson, Steve Bruce, Paul Ince, David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, all these lads, brilliant lads.

“We didn’t win every week, but before every game, we asked ourselves ‘are we going to give everything that we have for this club?’ and obviously the answer was ‘yes’. But there’s no soul with this team, they’re robotic. What is going on at the training ground? What is the coaching, what is the culture, who is helping these young lads along?”

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