Manchester United will hire Erik ten Hag as their new manager next season, with the Dutchman poised to replace Ralf Rangnick. And it appears Jurrien Timber, Antony and Jarrad Branthwaite are his top three transfer targets at the current moment in time. All three players are aged 22 or under, suggesting the Red Devils are going to be planning with the future very much in mind.
Manchester United struck a verbal agreement with Ten Hag earlier in the week, with the Ajax boss primed to manage in the Premier League.
And reports since have suggested Antony, Timber and Branthwaite are his top three targets as he plans a rebuild.
United, this summer, will need a new forward – with the futures of Anthony Martial, Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood and Edinson Cavani all uncertain for differing reasons.
And 22-year-old Antony could be the way to go, with the Brazilian drawing comparisons with Neymar due to his electric performances in Dutch football this term.
Juventus are also interested in the Samba star.
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Ten Hag manages Timber at Ajax, with the 20-year-old established as one of world football’s most-exciting defensive talents.
So a reunion in the Premier League at Old Trafford certainly can’t be ruled out.
Then, there’s Everton youngster Branthwaite.
The 19-year-old has barely played under Frank Lampard – but that hasn’t stopped United’s recruitment department from having him on their radar.
As a teenager, he’s certainly got time to develop.
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And he’d fit the young profile of player that Ten Hag wants to bring in as he seeks to bring the glory days back to Old Trafford.
News of the Red Devils looking for rising stars, rather than the finished article, suggests they’ve learnt from the mistakes of the past.
For too long, United have spent big money on big players who haven’t delivered the goods – despite their big reputations.
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Donny van de Beek and Angel Di Maria are just a few superstars who have toiled at Old Trafford in recent years.
And United are now prepared to roll the dice as they seek brighter days ahead.
Meanwhile, former Tottenham star Rafael Van der Vaart thinks that Ten Hag will be tough on underperforming players when he takes over.
“Ten Hag to Manchester United? It’s nice,” he said. “You don’t let a club like Manchester United wait.
“These players (#MUFC) can’t have any excuses anymore.
“They made so many managers leave while they are playing so bad.
“Now they get a manager who will be very clear and will present his plan. Those who won’t cooperate will get thrown out.”