Erik ten Hag has told Manchester United he doesn’t want any outgoing players at the club when he leads his squad on a pre-season tour in early July amid ongoing uncertainty over several stars, including Cristiano Ronaldo. Ten Hag has started planning his major overhaul at Old Trafford ahead of a summer transfer window that promises more outgoings than incomings.
A day after guiding Ajax to their third Dutch Eredivisie title in his three-full-season tenure on Wednesday, Ten Hag called a recruitment meeting with United football director John Murtough in Amsterdam. The 52-year-old is now entirely part of plans for his first season at the helm, with just one dead-rubber Ajax game left to take charge of.
And Saturday’s copy of the Mirror report that Ten Hag has told Murtough and Red Devils chief executive Richard Arnold to ensure players absent from his future plans are released, sold or loaned before the end of next month. He doesn’t want players who are likely to leave the club this summer to travel for the pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia.
The Dutchman is keen to avoid risking disharmony in the opening months of his reign as he looks to rebuild bonds in a broken dressing room following United’s worst-ever Premier League season. And his demands could prompt the club to move faster than ever before in the transfer window, with several futures up in the air.
Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Edinson Cavani, Juan Mata, Nemanja Matic and Lee Grant will all leave United on free transfers on July 1. And it is understood that Eric Bailly and Anthony Martial also want to depart at the end of the season in search of regular football.
Dean Henderson, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Phil Jones, Axel Tuanzebe, Alex Telles and Marcus Rashford could also be in the shop window as Ten Hag commences his overhaul in M16. Also among those names is Ronaldo, who might not want the club to trigger his 12-month contract extension after their failure to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
Ronaldo is one of the few United players who hasn’t failed to live up to expectations in a challenging campaign. The 37-year-old has netted 24 goals in all competitions after making his sensational return last summer, but his future plans aren’t yet confirmed.
If he decides to leave Old Trafford, he will join the six other first-team stars’ whose contracts expire at the end of June. But Ten Hag has wasted no time in making it clear that he wants United’s other departures out of the exit door before that date.
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