EXCLUSIVE: Ten Hag makes Amrabat midfield priority

Jacque Talbot
Jacque Talbot
  • Updated: 8 Jul 2023 14:13 BST
  • 5 min read
© ProShots

Erik ten Hag has pin-pointed Sofyan Amrabat as his main target for Manchester United's midfield ahead of the new season and will action a move for the Fiorentina player once the deals for Andre Onana and Rasmus Hojlund are wrapped up and Fred is moved on.

Authoritative sources have informed us that Ten Hag wanted either Declan Rice or Frenkie de Jong for the upcoming window but the ongoing and protracted takeover saga, which has severely restricted the head coach’s transfer kitty, and Financial Fair Play regulations mean he will look to Amrabat to bolster the double-pivot of his 4-2-3-1 formation next campaign.

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The Moroccan 26-year-old is already with CAA Stellar, one of the top agencies in the UK that oversee - or at least have a hand in on an intermediary level - most of the biggest deals going on in the Premier League. Amrabat has just one year left on his contract with the Serie A outfit and a deal can be struck for around £20million. Given who his agency is, it is unlikely but not impossible that Amrabat accepts a move to Saudi Arabia, something which the Pro League is weighing up.

READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE: Man Utd agree terms with Rasmus Hojlund

If the takeover had gone through and Sheikh Jassim had taken over the club as was the expectation around spring of this year, then United's debt would have been cleared and Ten Hag would have had an extra £40m - £50m or so of budget.

Currently, the manager has around £150m - £60m of which went on Mason Mount, who arrived from Chelsea. Andre Onana will come from Inter for around £50m and the deal will be finalised next week.

The remaining money is to be spent on Atalanta's Rasmus Hojlund, for whom the club are trying to negotiate a reasonable fee. The attacker has agreed personal terms with Man Utd over a move, as we revealed, and it's our understanding that the youngster will hand in an official transfer request to his current side should the weeks drag on without a fee agreed between Atalanta and Man Utd. The Dane will be Man Utd’s third signing of the window, leaving the club with little room to manoeuvre regarding further purchases - but we are told that if Fred is sold this window, then Man Utd will use the money to sign Amrabat.

But Ten Hag wants another forward - and sources tell us there is a feeling Harry Kane could be given a go again, but it’s not a deal that would be struck anytime soon. And Bayern Munich are lurking for the England captain as well.

Kane bid could be made depending on player sales

We are told that Tottenham continue to monitor Anthony Martial - in 2015, when he signed a new contract at Monaco, Spurs made a bid for him. Their affection for the Frenchman has not gone away, we understand, and he could represent a sizeable sum for Man Utd or a possible makeweight in the signing of Kane.

Ferguson will likely move to Man Utd next
© ProShots - Ferguson will likely move to Man Utd next

A lot will depend on outgoings. If Man Utd can sell Harry Maguire, Dean Henderson, Fred, Scott McTominay, Eric Bailly, among others - each of whom takes up a considerable portion of the wage bill - they will make an offer for Kane, who is open to joining.

Meanwhile, there is a strong interest in Evan Ferguson, who is a big Man Utd fan. He was very conflicted before signing a new deal at Brighton last season.

READ MORE: MORE clubs enter race to sign Man Utd wonderkid

We are informed that Man Utd will eventually be his likely destination, whether that comes in 2024 or beyond.

The centre-back position isn’t a priority for Ten Hag. Kim Min-jae wanted to join but was not willing to wait until August to be signed after being told as such. The Napoli defender is set to be announced as a Bayern Munich player after they met his release clause.

Lastly, Jadon Sando will be given one last season to impress. If he fails to do so, he will be sold in 2024. If a massive offer comes in, then Man Utd will accept but that seems unlikely at this stage.

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