Erik ten Hag faces Man Utd midfield transfer chaos

Erik ten Hag’s plans to revamp Manchester United’s midfield have been left in chaos before he has even taken charge at Old Trafford.

Ten Hag will replace Ralf Rangnick as United boss in June and is keen to bolster his midfield options ahead of the new season. Nemanja Matic has confirmed he will be leaving United along with Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata, while Paul Pogba is also heading for the exit and is keen to secure a return to Juventus.

But Dutchman Ten Hag has hit a brick wall in his bid to bring in reinforcements – with three of his targets all snubbing the potential of a move to the fallen giants this summer.

Ten Hag has put Jude Bellingham, Kalvin Phillips and Declan Rice on his wanted list, but he looks set to miss out on all three. Borussia Dortmund have told United to forget about luring England ace Bellingham to Old Trafford because the German club are not prepared to sell him following the departure of Erling Haaland to Manchester City this summer. Leeds star Phillips, meanwhile, has no intention of joining his bitter rivals United due to the hatred that exists between the two clubs.

And to make matters worse, Rice has hinted he will remain at West Ham next season and has no interest in going to United while the club is not in the Champions League. Ten Hag is also an admirer of Lazio’s defensive midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, but the Italian club have told United he is not for sale. It means Ten Hag is back to square one in his attempts to line up fresh midfield talent as he begins to discover the cost of United’s failure to secure Champions League qualification.

Meanwhile, former United defender Jaap Stam has backed United outcast Donny van de Beek to force his way into Ten Hag’s thinking when he takes over at Old Trafford. Van de Beek, who played under Ten Hag at Ajax, is currently out on loan at Everton having found opportunities limited under former United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and interim successor Rangnick.

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Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham is among a trio of top stars who will reject a move to Manchester United in the summer

“I think Donny is a good player,” Stam told United’s website. “We’ve seen him in Holland and when he was at United he didn’t always get the opportunity to play. I don’t know why, because of certain reasons, it’s difficult to say from the outside that this is it, but from what I understand, and what I know, for a player to produce and do well, he needs to have other players around him who can produce and bring him to a certain level, because then it’s easier to step up for yourself as well.

“If you’re making choices with the players who are already there and who to keep within the club and also who to bring in: is that the perfect fit with how you want to play on the left, on the right, in the middle , up front? To have that ideal partnership, basically, to do well and get results. It could be possible that when Donny comes back in, he’s going to perform next season, but it’s very important for him as to who he’s going to play with in midfield, for instance, if he’s going to be playing there. That’s for him, but it’s also for 10 or 15 other players maybe the same situation. “


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