Erik ten Hag looks set to win his battle with Manchester United over his choice of No 2 by appointing former colleague Steve McClaren as assistant manager, as the club prepare to accelerate their transfer plans ahead of a huge summer of rebuilding.
nited announced Ten Hag as their fifth permanent manager in nine years yesterday on a three-year contract to June 2025 worth about €10.8million annually.
The deal contains the option of another 12 months. United had initially pushed back on Ten Hag’s request to bring in the former England manager McClaren in the days leading up to the official appointment of the 52-year-old Dutchman as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s long-term successor.
Instead, Ten Hag was asked by United to look at the existing staff first before making any major decisions.
However, it is now understood that McClaren – who was Alex Ferguson’s No 2 when United won a historic treble of Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup titles in 1999 – will be appointed as one of two new assistants along with Mitchell van der Gaag, Ten Hag’s current assistant at Ajax.
Ten Hag is understood to have been discussing potential transfer targets during talks with the club in the last few weeks and United feel they are in a position to now step up their pursuit of new signings.
United are prioritising the recruitment of two midfielders and a striker, although they are also looking at wide forwards and centre-backs and there is huge pressure for the club to deliver after squandering more than £1 billion (€1.2bn) over the past decade.
Kalvin Phillips of Leeds, Monaco’s Aurelien Tchouameni, Christopher Nkunku at RB Leipzig, Brighton’s Yves Bissouma, Ruben Neves from Wolves and John McGinn of Aston Villa are some of the midfielders that have been scouted. Phillips’ strong Leeds ties are understood to be one obstacle to a potential move to Old Trafford. (© Telegraph Media Group Ltd, 2022)
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