Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag wants to make five signings this summer and could be about to make Frenkie de Jong his first. It has been claimed United have reached an agreement in principle to recruit the Barcelona midfielder in a deal that could cost up to £70 million. Express Sport looks at four more players who could join after De Jong.
United want to reunite Jurrien Timber with ex-Ajax boss Ten Hag, who can play at both centre-back and right-back. The 20-year-old Dutchman is a top target for the Dutch manager. He is a young player with huge potential, an ability to play in multiple positions and experience of playing under Ten Hag, having made 43 appearances for Ajax last term.
Timber, who turns 21 later this month, has played for the Amsterdam outfit 74 times in total and has also already earned nine caps for the Netherlands. Discussing his future to De Telegraaf, Timber said: “In the end, my gut feeling will be the deciding factor. The picture has to be right. You can go to a big club. But if you’re not going to play there it’s better to stay with Ajax.
“And Ajax is also a big club. We play football in the Champions League and I play there together with the best players in the Netherlands. That is not nothing. I don’t feel like I’m done at the club. But I can also develop at other clubs.”
United are set to sign the ball-playing De Jong but they may still want a defensive-minded midfielder, with PSV’s Ibrahima Sangare a budget option. United are known to have interest in the Ivorian.
Sangare has a release clause of £30m in his PSV contract. Sky Sports say via a source the 24-year-old has his heart set on a Premier League switch and thinks he will be in England’s top flight next term, with Chelsea another club linked.
The dominant Sangare could be the long-term replacement for Nemanja Matic and sit at the base of the midfield in support of De Jong and Bruno Fernandes or another attack-minded midfielder such as Donny van de Beek.
Villarreal winger Arnaut Danjuma, formerly of Bournemouth, is a winger who has attracted widespread attention. The 25-year-old, also Dutch, managed 16 goals and four assists in 34 games for the Spanish side, who reached the Champions League semi-finals.
United have monitored Danjuma’s progress in La Liga and he could be an intriguing option to freshen up their options out wide, with Marcus Rashford having struggled last term. It has been suggested that the winger will cost any club around £40m.
Danjuma has made it clear he wants to return to the Premier League eventually. He told Sky Sports this week: “There’s definitely unfinished business for me in England. The reason why I joined Bournemouth initially was for me to play Premier League football. I think how big the league is and it’s seen as the best league in the world for many of us.”
While Ten Hag has Fernandes as a No 10 and Van de Beek as an alternative option to supply the front line, a free transfer for Christian Eriksen would still appeal given his quality. The Dane will only be available if he rejects a longer-term stay at Brentford.
Ex-Tottenham Eriksen, 30, could stay at Brentford after a successful six-month stint with the Londoners from January onwards. Avoiding Premier League relegation means the attacking midfielder is far more likely to stay with the Bees than he would have had they dropped into the Championship.
Eriksen also has a potential return to Spurs on the cards though if he rejects Brentford and he would surely prefer to rejoin his old club than link up with United. Especially as they have Champions League football to offer under Antonio Conte.