Erik ten Hag's first training session as Man Utd boss
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Manchester United chief John Murtough hasn’t vetoed any of Erik ten Hag’s transfer targets so far, according to reports. And it’s emerged that Ed Woodward was previously reluctant to land players from the Eredivisie, having cited Daley Blind when privately slamming the club’s business under Louis van Gaal. The Red Devils are poised to land Tyrell Malacia from Feyenoord, while Antony and Lisandro Martinez are also leading targets.
Manchester United are poised to make Malacia their first signing of the Ten Hag era, having reached an agreement with Feyenoord for the left-back.
And they’re also pushing to land Martinez, having submitted a £37million bid for the Ajax star.
The Manchester Evening News claim that, so far, Murtough hasn’t vetoed any of Ten Hag’s transfer targets despite the gulf between the Eredivisie and the Premier League.
That bodes well for the Red Devils, as they also aim to secure the signatures of Christian Eriksen and Frenkie de Jong.
And it’s claimed that Woodward previously and privately cited Blind when criticising the club’s transfer hit-rate under Louis van Gaal.
The current Ajax star touched down from the same club back in the summer transfer window of 2014, shortly after the World Cup in Brazil.
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Blind had starred as Van Gaal guided the club to third at the tournament, with the nation losing out to Argentina in the semi-finals of the competition.
Yet while he had his moments, it seems Woodward wasn’t happy with the way his spell at Old Trafford turned out.
Blind played a key role as the club won the FA Cup under Van Gaal in 2016, while he was also involved in their EFL Cup and Europa League triumphs under Jose Mourinho the following year.
However, Mourinho cut him loose after believing the 32-year-old wasn’t suited to his style of play.
United also brought in Memphis Depay from the Eredivisie when Van Gaal was manager, successfully fending off Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain for the forward.
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But Depay, unlike Blind, was a major failure.
The current Barcelona star arrived with big expectations and was even given Cristiano Ronaldo’s old No 7 shirt.
Yet Depay struggled under Van Gaal, losing the faith of his compatriot before Mourinho offloaded him to Lyon.
He’s since rebuilt his career, both in Ligue 1 and at Barcelona – where he’s set to form an important part of Xavi’s long-term project.
And it seems like Murtough is more than happy to buy from the Netherlands, despite the obvious risk that poses.
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Meanwhile, United chief Richard Arnold recently appeared to aim a dig at Woodward by slamming the club’s transfer business in recent years.
“We spent a billion pounds on players. We have spent more than anyone in Europe,” he said.
“I’m not thrilled where we are. It doesn’t sit easy with me and I worry how we get this sorted for the future.
“What’s happened is we have [expletive] burned through cash. You can’t go to our training ground and say ‘show me where the £1billion is’ because we haven’t spent money well historically.
“I’m not here to defend (chairman) Joel (Glazer). He must speak for himself.
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“But you have taken the time to come here and make your views known – and I respect that.
“We’ve blown through an enormous amount of money. For this summer, the money the manager and the director of football (John Murtough) wants is there.”
Another player United have signed from Dutch football in recent years is Donny van de Beek.
He toiled under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick, spending the second half of last season on loan at Everton.
But there are hopes within the club that, under his former boss Ten Hag, Van de Beek can finally live up to expectations at Old Trafford.
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