Ten Hag hopes to settle the “forward” deal before United’s match with Real Madrid
Manchester United coach Eric Ten Hag hopes his club will settle the deal to sign a top scorer before the end of his preparatory camp for the new season currently taking place in the United States, during which he will undergo a strong test against Spanish Real Madrid (before dawn Thursday GMT), and it will serve as a measure of the formation’s capabilities.
United played 3 matches since the start of the pre-season program and won them all, as they beat Leeds United 2-0 in Norway, French Lyon 1-0 in Scotland, and then beat Arsenal 2-0 in New Jersey.
United will play another test match before dawn on Wednesday against Wrexham (from the English third division) in San Diego, before heading to Houston the next day to face Real Madrid.
Although Ten Hag expressed his satisfaction and happiness with the level with which his team appeared during the recent test matches, especially against Arsenal, he is still waiting for his club to settle the striker deal, which he demanded from last season.
“I think we are close to signing a new striker,” Ten Hag said. “We are doing everything we can to end this file as soon as possible.”
Manchester United signed midfielder Mason Mount from Chelsea and Cameroonian goalkeeper Andre Onana from Italian Inter Milan, but the main goal of including a striker with global scoring capabilities has not yet been decided.
Ten Hag wanted to sign Tottenham striker Harry Kane, and told the management that this was the player who would offer the best hope to bring about the required change and help Manchester United compete with rivals and neighbors City, but it seems that they do not want to deal with Tottenham president Daniel Levy, who previously rejected their request last season.
United are now targeting Denmark’s Rasmus Hollund, the 20-year-old Atalanta striker who has only played one season in Serie A, scoring nine goals in 32 appearances and six goals in six appearances for Denmark. It is believed that Manchester United is ready to pay 60 million pounds ($ 77 million) to sign the Danish international striker, and in the event that negotiations faltered, the French club put Randal Kolo Mwani, the German striker from Frankfurt, as a possible alternative.
When asked about Manchester United’s pursuit of a striker, Ten Hag said: “Yes, we are making progress, but you know how things go – when we reach an agreement, we will inform you directly.” He added, “The only thing I can say is that we are doing everything in our power to end this file. If it were up to me, I would have signed the striker as soon as possible. The earlier we sign the striker, the better, because he must integrate with the team and our way of playing.”
United are using winger Marcus Rashford as an outspoken striker, and he managed to score 30 goals last season, the first United player to reach this number since Dutchman Robin van Persie in the 2012-2013 season. Ten Hag believes that Rashford can succeed again next year if the 25-year-old works to develop his abilities that no coach disagrees with, and he said: “When he is in the right position, he will do that, but the team must play well to put He is in the right place.” He explained, “When the team plays well and we maintain the rules and principles in our way, and Rashford’s position is correct and he puts himself in the right place, he will be decisive to finish the matches, because he has great capabilities. When he is in the penalty area, he is ruthless, scoring goals with his right foot, left foot and head. United scored only 58 goals in the English Premier League last season, the lowest level among all the first six teams, which showed the team’s need for a top scorer after all temporary contracts failed after the departure of veteran Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo. Ten Hag wants to diversify the form of attack, and for other players to contribute to the scoring, and he said: “It became clear that we suffer from a defect in investing in the many attacks that we make inside the box. A player alone cannot be held responsible. Others must also contribute in this field, and therefore we are looking for special capabilities in the striker that we want to contract with.” The Dutch coach added, “I think in Mount the newcomer that he will be a good addition, as he is able to create and score goals, next to Rashford, we can score goals.” French striker Anthony Martial returned to training for the first time on Monday after suffering from a hamstring problem from late May. The Frenchman started last season as first-choice striker in Ten Hag’s squad, but his tendency to succumb to injuries has put his future at the club in doubt. “He was in training with the team, so it is really hoped that he will be fit again,” Ten Hag said. When you have a player in your team we have to take advantage of him, and the players have to take responsibility to be available.
And after Ten Hag spent the small amount allocated by the administration for new contracts on the Mount and Onana deals (60 million pounds for the first and 50 for the second), the coach had to give up some of his redundant players to save money to include new others, and the team succeeded in marketing Brazilian left defender Alex Tellis to Al-Nassr Saudi Arabia for about 15 million pounds, and the Swedish winger Anthony Ilanga moved to Nottingham Forest for a similar amount and a five-year contract.
Elanga was included in the youth ranks at United and participated in 55 matches in all competitions with the first team, and won 12 international matches with Sweden. The decline in the level of Elanga, who scored four goals with United since his debut in the 2020-2021 season, and the presence of many alternatives in his position behind his placement on the transfer list.
Ten Hag still has to make up his mind about players who have no clear role with the team, such as Harry Maguire, Fred, Scott McTominay (maybe), and Dutchman Donny van de Beek.
It is expected that Ten Hag will test the young elements that can be promoted to the first team, or take a decision to loan or sell them, before the start of the new season. It is believed that the Dutch coach will keep the main squad and new deals to face Real Madrid.
For his part, the Wrexham coach said that facing United is a dream for his players who hope to continue their upward journey, and that there is nothing to prevent them from reaching the Premier League, and the Luton team is a good example of that. And the Welsh team has become one of the most talked about teams in the world of football, after it was bought by Hollywood stars, Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhinney two years ago. The documentary series “Welcome to Wrexham” attracted the interest of many, and shed light on the team that is currently touring the United States after winning the fourth division.
Reynolds and McIlhenny have made no secret of their dream of one day advancing to the Premier League, a lofty aspiration that coach Parkinson does not think is unrealistic. And he said, “After Luton’s rise from the fourth division to the Premier League in a matter of nine years, we say in Wrexham, ‘Why not? Bournemouth succeeded in that years ago and was on the verge of bankruptcy, and Blackpool also qualified for the Premier League. Why not go up Wrexham? And about facing Manchester United, he said: “This is a match that the players dream of, and it may increase our aspirations to continue the journey of ascension.”