Manchester United have told Erik ten Hag he will have to oversee an evolution rather than revolution of the squad when he takes over with club chiefs distancing themselves from Ralf Rangnick’s suggestion that as many as 10 players could arrive in the summer, sources have told ESPN.
Ten Hag will be allowed significant funds to shape the squad ahead of his first season in charge but sources have told ESPN the recruitment department are working to a plan of bringing in three new players.
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The Dutchman will get a veto on any signings and has also been given scope to influence shortlists of targets for key positions he believes he strengthened.
Rangnick said after the 4-0 defeat to Liverpool last week that 10 new players could arrive in the summer window, but sources have told ESPN that remains highly unlikely.
Ten Hag’s summer budget — set at between £100 million and £150m — will be bolstered by any outgoings, and the club are willing to listen to offers for Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, Anthony Martial, Alex Telles and Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Sources have told ESPN that Ten Hag is concerned about David de Gea‘s suitability for his system, but there is an acceptance there are more immediate issues to solve within the squad this summer.
Signing a striker and at least one midfielder is the priority, although United are so far baulking at some of the fees being quoted.
Sources have told ESPN that Benfica will not enter talks over forward Darwin Nunez for anything less than €130m while West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur have passed on that only mega offers would test their resolve to keep Declan Rice and Harry Kane respectively.
United are also readying lists of centre-back targets with sources telling ESPN that Villarreal defender Pau Torres is among the names that have been put to Ten Hag. Intermediaries acting on United’s behalf have also been in touch with Ajax about the availability of Jurrien Timber.
Meanwhile, sources have told ESPN that Andreas Pereira has been informed by football director John Murtough that if his permanent move to Flamengo breaks down, Ten Hag is keen to have the midfielder back at the club in the summer.
Pereira and Ten Hag spent time together at PSV Eindhoven, and the 26-year-old Brazilian still has a year left on his Old Trafford contract.