With just one game of the 2021/22 Premier League campaign left to play, most Manchester United supporters have already switched their focus to next season.
The new term will mark the beginning of the Erik ten Hag era and the excitement levels are already building, despite this season proving to be a forgettable one for no shortage of reasons. United are in desperate need of making significant changes to the squad and several new faces are expected to be added to Ten Hag’s squad.
The Dutchman is expected to want to strengthen several positions within his armory, with central-midfield set to rank right at the very top of his list. The Reds are in desperate need of bolstering that area of the pitch and no shortage of names are already being linked with strengthening the engine room.
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Elsewhere, United might look to bolster their full-back options, particularly on the right side of the defence, whilst the addition of a centre-back would not catch many by surprise. The club is also set to target the addition of a new striker to fill the void that is expected to be vacated by Edinson Cavani when he departs at the end of his contract.
With that in mind, speculation surrounding what the summer could bring for United is already rife. Several players are already being linked with the club and the rumor mill is in full swing.
With that said, MEN Sports has taken a close look at five players that the bookmakers are already linking with moves to Old Trafford ahead of the summer transfer window opening for business.
Frankie de Jong – 1/4
United, as reported by the Manchester Evening News , are weighing up a move for Barcelona midfielder De Jong ahead of the summer transfer window opening and the bookmakers appear to think that there is a good chance of a deal happening. Signing a midfielder is set to be a leading priority for Ten Hag, and De Jong, who he worked with at Ajax, is amongst his targets of him.
The Netherlands international left Ajax to join Barcelona in 2019 and has continued to make steady progress, highlighting why several leading European clubs have been connected with his signature in recent months. Although United might fancy their chances of luring the 25-year-old to Old Trafford because of his relationship with Ten Hag, a lack of Champions League football could be a stumbling block and hinder their chances.
This season, De Jong has made 45 appearances for Barcelona, scoring four goals and grabbing five assists. He has been a regular fixture in the team since club legend Xavi took over as head coach in November.
Darwin Nunez – 5/4
Signing a younger striker is set to be amongst United’s leading objectives as far as this summer’s transfer window is concerned. Interim manager Ralf Rangnick identified lowering the age of their attacking options back in February and highlighted the importance of recruiting a younger centre-forward.
In Benfica striker Nunez, United might not find a better option, both for the here and now and for the future. He has been outstanding for the Portuguese giants this season, scoring 34 goals in 41 appearances in all competitions.
However, although the bookmakers currently have United installed as the favorites to sign him this summer, a lack of Champions League football being on offer could hinder their chances, just like with De Jong. But if United generate a feel-good factor quickly under Ten Hag, they could soon become an attractive proposition again.
Christian Eriksen – 3/10
Since returning to professional football in February with Brentford, Eriksen, less than a year on from his cardiac arrest at the European Championship, has shown why he remains capable of playing at the very highest level. He has been nothing short of outstanding for the Bees, meaning their gamble of signing him on a short-term deal in January has paid off.
Scoring one goal and grabbing three assists in nine games, as well as becoming the architect of much of Brentford’s play, Eriksen has become something of a talking point ahead of the summer. Both United and former club Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly expressing an interest in signing him.
But despite the United bookmakers making the joint-favourites with Spurs to sign him this summer, they are currently offering shorter odds on Brentford keeping hold of him. His situation from him will most likely be one to watch.
Pau Torres – 5/1
United are understood to have revived their interest in Villarreal defending Torres ahead of the summer window, with signing a centre-back set to rank amongst the club’s leading priorities. The Spaniard has never been short of suitors and that is expected to remain the same this summer, certainly if the bookmakers’ current odds are to be believed.
Currently, Tottenham are tipped as the favorites to sign the 25-year-old at 3/1, with United ranked as second-favourites at 5/1. Chelsea and Manchester City have also made the list of suitors.
The Spaniard is considered as one of the best centre-backs in La Liga and his certainly not gone unnoticed on the European stage. He helped Villarreal win the Europa League last season and played every minute of their run to the Champions League final this term.
Sebastian Haller – 7/1
With Ten Hag on the brink of checking in at Old Trafford, you can guarantee that almost every player currently on Ajax’s books will be linked with following him over the coming months. It has already happened with Jurrien Timber and Antony, with Haller now following suit.
The former West Ham United striker has been excellent for the Dutch giants ever since joining them in January last year, scoring 47 goals in 65 games. Whilst it is a great record that should not be knocked out, it tells you everything when he only managed 14 goals in 54 appearances for West Ham.
The Premier League is a cut above the Eredivisie in terms of quality and those stats show it. However, the bookmakers currently have United as the second-favorites to sign him this summer, despite the striker already insisting that he will not be following Ten Hag to M16.
*Odds are courtesy of SkyBet and are correct as of May 14, 2022.
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