Ten Hag: Man Utd's summer transfer plans ready

Erik ten Hag says Man Utd’s summer transfer plans are ready, adding that recruitment since his arrival has been ‘good’, but he is open to ideas from any new directors.

The incomings and outgoings at Man Utd are always a topic of hot conversation during the transfer window. Despite the rumours, Ten Hag revealed he already has targets in place.

“We are working in the background on the plans with scouting and our staff. We are working on our plan, which is ready, it just needs [us] to execute,” he said ahead of the Saturday Night Football trip to Bournemouth, live on Sky Sports.

“I trust the new ownership that they will work as quick as possible and will bring new structures and they can execute.”

When asked if the arrival of a new football director or technical director this summer would impact those plans, Ten Hag replied: “We have good plans with quality players so you see about recruitment.

“[Andre] Onana is doing very well, [Rasmus] Hojlund, everyone is seeing his big talent and potential. [Lisandro] Martinez, everyone is hugely happy with him. The recruitment is good, but if they have even better ideas, we are always open.

“You have to judge the options and if they have better options, we are open to fill this in. We have a way we want to play so we know the profiles exactly, so it has to match the profiles we want.”

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It comes after the departure of football director John Murtough this week, but Ten Hag says it will not interfere with his plans for the squad.

“I miss his support, but he moved on,” the Man Utd boss said. “We worked well together so I will say thank you to John and I wish him all the best for the future.

“I’ve worked with the new ownership well and closely together. That will not change. It doesn’t impact on the way I work here.

Man United manager Erik ten Hag pictured with outgoing football director John Murtough
Man United manager Erik ten Hag wished outgoing football director John Murtough good luck after his departure

“The conditions are perfect and still are perfect and I’m happy for that. We want to set the right conditions to be successful.”

Ten Hag was also quizzed on his side’s goalscoring this season. Man Utd have scored 45 goals – the same as Luton, Brentford and this weekend’s opponents, Bournemouth – but injuries have once again played their part.

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When asked if he would look to bring in a proven goalscorer this season, Ten Hag said: “It would help. As I always had in this plan we constructed we should have had enough goals.

“You count on goals from Rashy [Marcus Rashford], and last year he scored 30. You count on goals from [Anthony] Martial, and in my first season, he played very well. In important games, he had a high impact on our performances.

“And bringing in a goalscorer like Rasmus Hojlund in should have been enough goals.

Rasmus Hojlund was signed last summer to provide goals, but has suffered his own injury issues this year

“You need two strikers in our league or our competitions, so you need more options. You need double positioning in every position. In some, we didn’t have the choices this season, like the striker and the full-back. That has a negative impact on the results.”

And his press conference ended on a positive note. Despite injury issues on the pitch and a series of changes off it, Ten Hag says he can see the direction the club is heading in.

“You couldn’t expect this [issues this season], but you have to deal with it,” he said.

This business is about results and many only see the results, but you have to also see what’s underneath. I see that and I see the potential, the direction, so I’m positive in the way we want to go and we will be successful.”

Ten Hag: ‘Don’t judge us now’

Sky Sports’ Juliette Ferrington:

Erik Ten Hag doesn’t need to be told that it has been a disappointing campaign. He knows it should be better.

He and his players will try and salvage as many points as they can from their remaining seven Premier League games. Champions League qualification is the desired position, even though the task in hand looks to be beyond them.

“Don’t judge us now, we have to fight to the end,” he told me ahead of this weekend’s game with Bournemouth. “Play every game with the right attitude. We have had a lot of setbacks, but every game is a new opportunity and that’s how the approach should be. You have to get on with it.”

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has talked openly about how good European coaches have found life difficult at Manchester United. Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho to name two.

Van Gaal lost his job almost as soon as the final whistle was blown at Wembley in 2016. Manchester United had just beaten Crystal Palace in the FA Cup Final.

I was on interview duty at the time watching the chaos swirl around the tunnel area in front of my very own eyes. I remember him carrying the cup in one hand garlanded with its winning red ribbons as he celebrated on the pitch.

His smile betrayed what was about to unravel in the corridors of the national stadium as rumours of his impending departure spread like wildfire.

Even if Ten Hag delivers FA Cup success this season there are no guarantees he will be given the opportunity to go again. For now, he trusts the process and has all the energy he needs to continue.

He opined: “I’m a positive human being. The sun is always shining. Maybe it’s behind the cloud at the moment but when I wake up in the morning it’s a new day

“I get on with it. I want to enjoy every day. If you can do the most of what you like, working and co-operating with young people to bring them to their maximum levels, that’s the best you can do.

“They have told me the direction. I feel very positive about this. You feel the energy coming in, I understand the structures they want to bring which will help and support us to get better results.”

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