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Erik ten Hag asks Man Utd chiefs to replace £41m star and sign two other players

Erik ten Hag has made it clear that Manchester United need three particular signings in order to force their way back into the top-four next season. The Dutchman claims to have been given assurances by Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS that he will remain in charge to spearhead their revamp next season.

That’s despite reports stating that Ten Hag will be axed by the Red Devils regardless of how his side fare against Manchester City in the FA Cup final on Saturday. United go into the game as rank outsiders after finishing eighth in the Premier League – a 34-year low.

Injuries have made Ten Hag’s life difficult this season, and the former Ajax boss has made it clear to senior figures at Old Trafford that if he is to stick around, targeted acquisitions need to be made this summer.

Replacing the departing Raphael Varane, who United paid £41million for back in 2021, is Ten Hag’s first demand. And the manager feels that a centre-back recruit should be supplemented by two other signings to improve the spine of his starting XI.

“The injuries have been really crazy,” Ten Hag told Voetbal International. “Not long ago I had to start my 15th different centre-back duo of the season. I have had 33 different defensive lines this season. Sofyan Amrabat had to play left-back four times.

“We have had injuries all over the pitch. Casemiro has been out for a long time. Rasmus Hojlund, the striker we bought, suffered from three injuries and I can keep going on and on. This is the core story of our season.

“We need to sign an extra striker in the summer. And if we can sign another central midfielder and a replacement for Varane, things will look good again. If the team remains fit we can try and aim for top-four again.”

Juventus centre-back Gleison Bremer, Everton star Jarrad Branthwaite and Lille teenager Leny Yoro are all believed to be under consideration at Old Trafford as United scour the market for Varane’s replacement.

But all three would command significant transfer sums at a time when financial regulations are set to tighten Sir Jim’s purse strings. Outgoings are therefore deemed inevitable this summer, starting with Varane and Anthony Martial, who have both come to the end of their contracts.

Hefty sums could also be raised by auctioning off Jadon Sancho and Mason Greenwood, who have enjoyed positive loan spells at Borussia Dortmund and Getafe respectively. Bruno Fernandes and Casemiro both face uncertain futures amid interest from abroad.


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