Ten Hag ‘certain’ to strengthen two key positions at Old Trafford

Manchester United will sign a centre-forward and defensive midfielder in the upcoming transfer window, according to insider Dean Jones.

Current Ajax manager Erik ten Hag will succeed Ralf Rangnick in the Old Trafford dugout this summer, and Jones expects bringing in a new No.9 and No.6 to be at the top of his agenda once he arrives.

Do United need a new centre-forward and defensive midfielder?

Yes. Unsurprisingly, Cristiano Ronaldo has done a fantastic job leading the line for United this season, scoring over 20 goals in all competitions. However, the 37-year-old is obviously not getting any younger.

Edinson Cavani is also set to leave the club at the end of the season as a free agent, so up front is an area that will be of concern to Ten Hag.

The Red Devils will be losing Nemanja Matic, too, with the Serbian confirming that he will be departing in the summer.

Considering that, and the fact that a midfield of Scott McTominay and Fred continues to underwhelm, plenty of United fans will also be dying to see the arrival of a player who can sit in front of the back four and protect it.

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What has Jones said about United’s transfer plans?

Because of all of the above, Jones believes United will sign a striker, a holding midfielder and possibly a defender when the transfer window reopens.

Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, the football journalist said: “Centre-forward absolutely has to happen. They will sign a centre-forward, and they’ll sign a defensive midfielder – those two are absolutely certain to be two of the positions [that get strengthened]. The other one is most likely to be a defender.”

Who could United sign?

When it comes to that defensive midfield position, the first name that comes to mind is Declan Rice.

According to multiple outlets, including the Evening Standard, the West Ham vice-captain is a target for United. However, his £150m price tag could easily be a sticking point for the Red Devils.

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Further forward, Benfica’s Darwin Nunez looks like the man they could turn to in order to improve their attack. He is having an excellent season, scoring an impressive six goals in 10 Champions League appearances.

Last month, Fabrizio Romano reported that he is likely to cost €80m (£68m), which is well within United’s price range. It makes the 22-year-old, who is thought to be on their radar, a realistic option, though you would expect there to be a host of other suitors after the campaign he has had.

But if United can land both Nunez and Rice this summer, then Ten Hag is going to be more than a happy man.

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