Man Utd labelled ‘desperate’ after risky Ten Hag transfer plan shocks ’99 treble winner

Man Utd manager Erik ten Hag Credit: Alamy
Man Utd manager Erik ten Hag Credit: Alamy

A 1999 treble winner cited Casemiro when outlining what Man Utd should be doing in the market this summer amid reports Erik ten Hag plans to revive a risky move.

United’s hunt for a new centre-forward this summer will hoover up most of the headlines. However, an addition in central midfield could also be required.

Indeed, a permanent move for Bayern Munich loanee, Marcel Sabitzer, is no longer straightforward. The Austrian had no future back in Bavaria under former boss Julian Nagelsmann and a permanent move negotiated from scratch was there for United to make.

However, the story may be different under new boss Thomas Tuchel.

Elsewhere, Scott McTominay is being courted by Newcastle and the chance to cash in to fund moves for higher calibre targets could appeal at Old Trafford.

The Red Devils have been linked with a vast array of midfield targets, not least Mason Mount, Mateo Kovacic, Ruben Neves, Nicolo Barella and of course, Frenkie de Jong.

The latter, 25, was United’s primary target last summer. An agreement in the region of £75m was even struck with Barcelona, per the Athletic, though the Dutchman was dead set against leaving the Camp Nou.

United ultimately signed Casemiro instead after their protracted chase of De Jong fell away. Given the Brazilian’s remarkable impact and transformative effect he’s had in the engine room, United will be overjoyed at how things eventually turned out.

However, Fabrizio Romano has repeatedly insisted Ten Hag’s desire to sign his fellow Dutchman has not subsided.

The MEN later claimed De Jong was one of two elite midfielders United are dreaming of signing this summer. The other listed was Jude Bellingham.

More recently, talkSPORT claimed De Jong’s firm stance on not wanting to leave Barcelona was beginning to soften.

READ MORE: Mason Greenwood: Brutal Ronaldo comments saw star get talking to as Man Utd reject offers and agent makes plea

De Jong not good enough for Man Utd anyway – Andy Cole

Now, 1999 treble winner, Andy Cole, has weighed in on the idea of United and Ten Hag reigniting their pursuit of De Jong.

In Cole’s mind, taking that approach would make United look “desperate”. What’s more, Cole pointed to Casemiro as a shining example of why signing players who actually want to be at the club is a far sounder strategy.

“I look at it from the outside, is Frenkie de Jong the midfield player that could do a job for Manchester United? No he’s not,” said Cole (via Goal).

“De Jong is a very good player and there is no disputing that, but if you look at last season’s transfer saga and you have to wonder why would Man Utd want to put themselves in that position again?

“They need to go for players who actually want to come to the club like Casemiro did. Going in for De Jong again makes them look desperate.

“This is Manchester United football club we’re talking about here, if you don’t want to play for them then move on to your next option.

“It’s not like Man Utd is a non-league football club, the answer to the move should be yes or no, not a maybe.”

READ MORE: Fabrizio Romano confirms Man Utd v Chelsea battle to sign French ace has begun; eye-watering price tag revealed

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