Erik ten Hag’s blueprint for Man Utd rebuild as £100m cost of Champions League failure hits

Erik ten Hag has plenty of work to do if he is to be the man to restore Manchester United to their former glories – but he may have to do so on a tight budget.

The former Ajax boss is yet to sign his first player as Red Devils manager as of yet – something that is reportedly causing concern among certain sections of the dressing room and fans alike. Fellow big-six outfits Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal and Spurs have all made additions to their squad already, but United are devoting much of their time to their pursuit of Frenkie de Jong.

Few coaches know De Jong’s talent better than Ten Hag given their shared time at Ajax, but the current Barcelona midfielder is not going to come cheap. The two sides are rumoured to have finally agreed a fee of around £67million – a number that severely restricts any other arrivals this summer.

This is because, according to The Sun United are currently reportedly working with a £100m budget for the entire summer window – not taking into account any potential outgoings. Given they are also interested in Ajax duo Antony and Jurrien Timber as well as another right-back, the £33m they have left to play with after De Jong is simply not going to cut it.

As a result, Ten Hag is going to have to swing his axe and try to offload some of the underperforming stars already at the club in a bid to boost funds. Mirror Football has taken a look at some of the players who could be sold this summer to cover the cost of a potential spending spree.

Andreas Pereira

Andreas Pereira

Andreas Pereira spent last season with Flamengo
Getty Images)

While Pereira has not donned the United shirt in a long time, the player could be in line for a surprise return to England. Having spent last season on loan with Flamengo, his performances have clearly done enough to catch the eye of certain clubs.

It was originally expected that Pereira would remain in Brazil. Surplus to requirements at Old Trafford with a year left to run on his deal, United were willing to let him stay at Flamengo on a permanent basis.

That was before newly-promoted Fulham entered the race for his signature. The Cottagers are thought to have agreed a deal with United to sign Pereira for £10m plus £3m in potential add-ons.

Eric Bailly

The Ivorian is a popular figure among the United faithful, but question marks over his defensive ability and his tendency for the odd calamitous error means Bailly could be heading for the Old Trafford exit.

Bailly has spent large portions of his time at United on the treatment table after struggling to shake off persistent injury problems. Brought to the club by former boss Jose Mourinho as one of the self-proclaimed special one’s first signings, Bailly has struggled to ever cement his place in the first-team.

Considering the frailties on display from some of the defenders above Bailly in the pecking order at United, the writing is on the wall and he has already been touted with a Mourinho reunion at Roma.

With two years left to run on his deal, United could aim to fetch anything between £10-£20m for his signature before the window’s close.

Anthony Martial

A player that seemed destined for so much when he swapped Monaco for Manchester, Martial has also failed to truly make the grade at Old Trafford.

There have been undeniable highlights in the form of Wembley winners and Derby heroics, but the moments of brilliance have been all too fleeting. His United career hit a new low last term when he was exiled out on loan to Sevilla for the second half of the season.

Things hardly fared much better in Spain despite the huge fanfare that greeted his arrival in January. The Frenchman featured just nine times in La Liga and failed to score a single goal, though he did notch one in the Europa League knock-out stages.

Anthony Martial

Anthony Martial endured a poor loan spell with Sevilla last season
Getty Images)

Martial is expected to return to Old Trafford with his tail tucked firmly between his legs as Ten Hag mulls over what to do next with him. Much like Bailly, the forward is tied to Old Trafford contractually until 2024.

Given the hit his reputation has taken over the last season alone, United can not expect any suitor to pay any more than £25m for the talented but inconsistent Martial.

Cheap incomings

The aforementioned trio could all be sold for a cumulative fee of just under £55m, ensuring that there could be room for some cheap alternative transfer targets.

Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans has long lit up the King Power Stadium and has just one year left to run on his deal. As a result, the Foxes – who are resigned to him not penning an extension, have come to terms with the fact he’ll have to be sold on the cheap.

The Belgian could be available for as little as £25m, though United will have to act fast if they want him to bolster their midfield as Arsenal are also thought to be monitoring the situation.

In terms of defensive reinforcements, Manuel Akanji is a name that has long been linked with a switch to Old Trafford. Currently at Borussia Dortmund, the Swiss defender is on the record as admitting it would be a dream to play for United.

RB Leipzig defender Nordi Mukiele has also been touted as a potential candidate to deputise or even replace Aaron Wan-Bissaka at right-back. Out of contract next summer, the 24-year-old could view a move to Manchester as an attractive proposal and would not break the bank.

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