Erik ten Hag has been charged with the task of trying to make Manchester United a force again, and he faces a significant rebuilding job.

The Dutchman will leave Ajax at the end of the season to take charge of the Red Devils after agreeing a deal until June 2025, with the option of a further year.

It is not just shaping a squad that has struggled to coalesce this season that will be on his to-do list.

Ten Hag's in-tray will be piled high as he sets about making a short-term impact, while implementing the "long-term vision" that impressed United's hierarchy. 

Stats Perform looks at the pressing issues for the 52-year-old to address.

Change the mentality

A 3-2 win over Norwich City last weekend aside, United have been in poor form and are in danger of ending the season with a whimper.

It was men against boys as the Red Devils were thumped 4-0 at Liverpool on Tuesday and there have been far too many inept displays this season from a side lacking fight and quality.

Interim boss Ralf Rangnick has been unable to get a tune out of an underperforming group of players since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked last November, and a huge shake-up is needed.

Add some steel

United must build solid foundations in a new era under Ten Hag, as they have been far too fragile in another hugely disappointing season.

Ten Hag needs a strong spine in his team, and if he was watching the way Liverpool blew them away at Anfield, he will know United have anything but that at the moment.

United fans will demand winners who will put their body on the line in the heat of battle and there is a real shortage of them in the current squad.

Recruit wisely

Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 21 goals after sensationally rejoining United from Juventus last September, but his signing was surely only ever going to be a short-term fix at best.

Solskjaer certainly appeared to struggle to build a team around the Portugal captain, and it would be no great surprise if the 37-year-old is on the move again.

Regardless of whether Ronaldo stays, Ten Hag will need to be backed in the transfer market and there must be a big overhaul, with Paul Pogba among those expected to depart.

Bring back silverware

There is no plainer objective for the new boss – he will be marked as a success or a failure by the trophies he wins during his time at the helm.

Solskjaer left the club with the third-best win rate in United's history, but he paid the price for a lack of silverware.

United have only been top of the Premier League at the end of a calendar month twice since Alex Ferguson left – in September 2015 and August 2017. It will surely take Ten Hag time to get them challenging for the title again, so he must ensure they make their presence felt in cup competitions.

Consider the captaincy

It has been a season to forget for United captain Harry Maguire.

The Red Devils skipper's talents are clear, as he has shown for club and country, but the centre-back has lost his way at Old Trafford.

The responsibility of leading a struggling side appears to have affected the England defender, and Ten Hag may decide to start his reign by appointing a new captain.

After months of speculation, Manchester United have confirmed Erik ten Hag will take over as the club's new manager at the end of another frustrating season at Old Trafford.

The 52-year-old will have a huge job on his hands when he arrives this summer, with the Red Devils looking unlikely to qualify for the Champions League after struggling under both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick this term.

High up on Ten Hag's to-do list will be deciding who amongst the current squad will be suited to playing his high-pressing, possession-based style of football.

Here, Stats Perform uses Opta-powered data to give an insight into three players who could impress under the Dutchman, and three who may find their days numbered after his arrival…

Who might star under Ten Hag?

Donny Van de Beek

An easy choice. Van de Beek emerged as a star under Ten Hag's tutelage at Ajax, and was a driving force being the Amsterdam giants' terrific run to the Champions League semi-finals in 2018-19. Installed as a creative midfielder alongside Frenkie de Jong, Van de Beek scored three goals and provided two assists during that famous run, with only Dusan Tadic (six) outscoring him for Ajax in the competition.

Having played a paltry 381 minutes for United across 14 appearances this season before being sent on loan to Everton in January, the 25-year-old looks the most obvious player to benefit from the arrival of his former coach

Jadon Sancho

Another player likely to thrive under Ten Hag is England winger Jadon Sancho, who has registered five goals and three assists in 37 appearances in all competitions for the Red Devils since moving from Borussia Dortmund last summer.

Only Bruno Fernandes (98) has created more open-play chances for United this term than Sancho (47), and he definitely stands to benefit from the arrival of a coach whose teams play with genuine width.

Each of Tadic (15), Antony (12), and Steven Berghuis (11) have reached double figures for Eredivisie goals for Ajax this term, so their former coach could be the man to get the best of the England man.

Luke Shaw

Ten Hag's Ajax team deployed their full-backs as a key attacking threat, with Argentine left-back Nicolas Tagliafico netting three goals during 2018-19's Champions League run.

Amongst Premier League defenders, only Trent Alexander-Arnold created more than the 72 chances crafted by Red Devils left-back Shaw during the 2020-21 season, and the England man could rediscover that form if unleashed by United's new boss.

Who might see their position threatened?

Harry Maguire 

The United skipper has faced much criticism for his role in another poor campaign for the Red Devils, and could be the first big-name casualty of Ten Hag's attempts to install a more progressive style of play.

No United defender has made as many errors leading to shots as Maguire in the Premier League this term (three), while his passing accuracy of 86.37 per cent is marginally lower than those of fellow defenders Raphael Varane (87.47) and Victor Lindelof (86.63), potentially marking out the England man as ripe for a replacement.

David De Gea

When another possession-hungry coach arrived in Manchester back in 2016, one of his first moves involved finding a goalkeeper he could trust to participate as his team tried to build from the back.

That man, of course, was Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, and Ten Hag could look to replicate his acquisition of Ederson by replacing De Gea. The Spaniard has recorded a pass accuracy of just 68.81 per cent in the Premier League this season, way short of elite rivals Ederson (88.35) and Allison (85.22).

Cristiano Ronaldo

Hear us out on this one. The legendary striker's goalscoring prowess remains unrivalled, and his 21 goals in all competitions since returning to Old Trafford last summer put him a long way clear of his nearest team-mate (Bruno Fernandes with nine).

However, the height of Ten Hag's success at Ajax came with Tadic used as a false nine in 2018-19, recording 10 goal involvements (six goals, four assists) during their thrilling European run. 

Besides, with Ronaldo's 140 strikes placing him at the top of the Champions League's all-time top goalscoring charts, can the 37-year-old really be expected to forgo playing in European football's premier competition if United fail to qualify? If not, a potentially tough decision regarding his future could be taken out of Ten Hag's hands.

John Murtough says Erik ten Hag landed the Manchester United job after he "deeply impressed" the hierarchy with his "long-term vision" for the club.

United on Thursday confirmed Ajax head coach Ten Hag will replace interim manager Ralf Rangnick at the end of the season.

The 52-year-old has agreed a deal until June 2025, subject to being granted a visa, with the option of extending his stay at Old Trafford by a further year.

Ten Hag has won two Eredivisie titles and the KNVB Cup twice since taking charge of Ajax in December 2017.

The Amsterdam giants are poised to lift the Eredivisie trophy again at the end of Ten Hag's reign, as they lead second-placed PSV by four points.

Football director Murtough revealed United were convinced the Dutchman is the right man to turn their fortunes around.

He told the club's official website: "During the past four years at Ajax, Erik has proved himself to be one of the most exciting and successful coaches in Europe, renowned for his team's attractive, attacking football and commitment to youth.

"In our conversations with Erik leading up to this appointment, we were deeply impressed with his long-term vision for returning Manchester United to the level we want to be competing at, and his drive and determination to achieve that.

"We wish Erik the best of luck as he focuses on achieving a successful end to the season at Ajax and look forward to welcoming him to Manchester United this summer."

While Ten Hag has become accustomed to winning trophies at Ajax, he faces a big rebuilding job at United.

The Red Devils have not won a trophy for five years and are sixth in the Premier League, seemingly looking set to miss out on Champions League qualification after being hammered 4-0 by Liverpool on Tuesday.

Erik ten Hag is happy to have "clarity" on his managerial future with Manchester United, but insists he is fully focused on ensuring he leaves Ajax on a high note.

The Dutchman was confirmed as the Premier League outfit's next full-time manager on Thursday, succeeding interim boss Ralf Rangnick on a deal through June 2025.

It ends a lengthy courtship by the Red Devils to bring Ten Hag to Old Trafford, having parted ways with previous permanent boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in late 2021.

Speaking on his appointment, 52-year-old Ten Hag professed his delight to confirm the deal, but says he remains committed to bowing out with a third Eredivisie title in Amsterdam.

"I'm happy that it has been finalised and that it has been officially announced," Ten Hag told Ajax's official website. "That clarity is important.

"But I only have one interest now and that's these last five games. I want to finish my time here on a positive note, by winning the league.

"By doing so, we'll qualify directly for the Champions League. Ajax belongs there."

Ajax chief executive Edwin van der Sar – a former United player – added Ten Hag was making the journey to "one of the biggest clubs" in the sport, and thanked him for his time in charge.

"Four and a half years is a good amount of time, but we would have liked to have kept Erik at Ajax for longer," Van der Sar said.

"He is going to make the step to one of the biggest clubs in the world, in a fantastic league. We owe Erik a lot of thanks for what he has achieved with Ajax so far, but we are not done yet.

 "At the end of the season, I will look back more extensively on his departure. For now, what matters is the final games of the season in which we all want to bring home the league title."

After months of speculation, Manchester United have confirmed Erik ten Hag will take over as the club's new manager at the end of another frustrating season at Old Trafford.

The 52-year-old will have a huge job on his hands when he arrives this summer, with the Red Devils looking unlikely to qualify for the Champions League after struggling under both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick this term.

High up on Ten Hag's to-do list will be deciding who amongst the current squad will be suited to playing his high-pressing, possession-based style of football.

Here, Stats Perform uses Opta-powered data to give an insight into three players who could impress under the Dutchman, and three who may find their days numbered after his arrival…

Who might star under Ten Hag?

Donny Van de Beek

An easy choice. Van de Beek emerged as a star under Ten Hag's tutelage at Ajax, and was a driving force being the Amsterdam giants' terrific run to the Champions League semi-finals in 2018-19. Installed as a creative midfielder alongside Frenkie de Jong, Van de Beek scored three goals and provided two assists during that famous run, with only Dusan Tadic (six) outscoring him for Ajax in the competition.

Having played a paltry 381 minutes for United across 14 appearances this season before being sent on loan to Everton in January, the 25-year-old looks the most obvious player to benefit from the arrival of his former coach

Jadon Sancho

Another player likely to thrive under Ten Hag is England winger Jadon Sancho, who has registered five goals and three assists in 37 appearances in all competitions for the Red Devils since moving from Borussia Dortmund last summer.

Only Bruno Fernandes (98) has created more open-play chances for United this term than Sancho (47), and he definitely stands to benefit from the arrival of a coach whose teams play with genuine width.

Each of Tadic (15), Antony (12), and Steven Berghuis (11) have reached double figures for Eredivisie goals for Ajax this term, so their former coach could be the man to get the best of the England man.

Luke Shaw

Ten Hag's Ajax team deployed their full-backs as a key attacking threat, with Argentine left-back Nicolas Tagliafico netting three goals during 2018-19's Champions League run.

Amongst Premier League defenders, only Trent Alexander-Arnold created more than the 72 chances crafted by Red Devils left-back Shaw during the 2020-21 season, and the England man could rediscover that form if unleashed by United's new boss.

Who might see their position threatened?

Harry Maguire 

The United skipper has faced much criticism for his role in another poor campaign for the Red Devils, and could be the first big-name casualty of Ten Hag's attempts to install a more progressive style of play.

No United defender has made as many errors leading to shots as Maguire in the Premier League this term (three), while his passing accuracy of 86.37 per cent is marginally lower than those of fellow defenders Raphael Varane (87.47) and Victor Lindelof (86.63), potentially marking out the England man as ripe for a replacement.

David De Gea

When another possession-hungry coach arrived in Manchester back in 2016, one of his first moves involved finding a goalkeeper he could trust to participate as his team tried to build from the back.

That man, of course, was Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, and Ten Hag could look to replicate his acquisition of Ederson by replacing De Gea. The Spaniard has recorded a pass accuracy of just 68.81 per cent in the Premier League this season, way short of elite rivals Ederson (88.35) and Allison (85.22).

Cristiano Ronaldo

Hear us out on this one. The legendary striker's goalscoring prowess remains unrivalled, and his 21 goals in all competitions since returning to Old Trafford last summer put him a long way clear of his nearest team-mate (Bruno Fernandes with nine).

However, the height of Ten Hag's success at Ajax came with Tadic used as a false nine in 2018-19, recording 10 goal involvements (six goals, four assists) during their thrilling European run. 

Besides, with Ronaldo's 140 strikes placing him at the top of the Champions League's all-time top goalscoring charts, can the 37-year-old really be expected to forgo playing in European football's premier competition if United fail to qualify? If not, a potentially tough decision regarding his future could be taken out of Ten Hag's hands.

Manchester United have confirmed that Erik ten Hag will take over as their new manager at the end of the season.

After months of speculation, the 52-year-old Ajax boss will succeed Ralf Rangnick in the Old Trafford hotseat at the end of a frustrating campaign for the Red Devils.

With Rangnick moving upstairs to take on a consultancy role at the club, Ten Hag has agreed a contract until June 2025, with the option of a further year.

Ten Hag, who will take charge subject to being issued with a visa, told United's official website: "It is a great honour to be appointed manager of Manchester United and I am hugely excited by the challenge ahead. 

"I know the history of this great club and the passion of the fans, and I am absolutely determined to develop a team capable of delivering the success they deserve.

"It will be difficult to leave Ajax after these incredible years, and I can assure our fans of my complete commitment and focus on bringing this season to a successful conclusion before I move to Manchester United."

Ten Hag has won two Eredivisie titles and the KNVB Cup twice since joining Ajax in 2017, and will hope to bow out after securing a third league crown in the coming weeks, with the Amsterdam giants leading second-placed PSV by four points.

Meanwhile, the Red Devils' season hit a new low this week when they were thrashed 4-0 by Liverpool in the Premier League at Anfield, leaving their chances of qualifying for next season's Champions League looking slim.

United will have endured five seasons without lifting a major trophy by the time Ten Hag starts work.

Manchester United have confirmed that Erik ten Hag will take over as their new manager at the end of the season.

After months of speculation, the 52-year-old Ajax boss will succeed Ralf Rangnick in the Old Trafford hotseat at the end of a frustrating campaign for the Red Devils.

With Rangnick moving upstairs to take on a consultancy role at the club, Ten Hag has agreed a contract until June 2025, with the option of a further year.

A lot of talk in recent weeks has centred around the burgeoning "rivalry" between Manchester City and Liverpool, with English football's two current leading lights doing battle on multiple fronts.

Liverpool got the better of City in the weekend's FA Cup semi-final, but they remain in a tussle for the Premier League title and could yet meet in a Champions League showdown – there's much to play for.

But while that rivalry has been borne out of competitiveness, the Liverpool matches that most – fans and neutrals alike – will continue to look out for are those with Manchester United.

Despite their historic successes and status as English football's most-successful teams, rarely in the modern era have they been competitive rivals like Liverpool are with City now – in fact, only once in the Premier League have the Reds and United finished as the top two. Invariably, if things are going well for one, the opposite is true for the other.

Ahead of Tuesday's clash at Anfield, the gulf is 19 points in the Premier League. Since Alex Ferguson's retirement, only once has there been a larger gap between the two ahead of their second meeting of the season.

After their 5-0 rout at Old Trafford in October, Liverpool are looking to complete the league double over United for the first time since 2013-14, while the Red Devils are winless in their last five league games at Anfield, netting just one goal in these matches. They last had a longer run without an away league win against their north west rivals between September 1970 and December 1979.

What makes the situation even worse for Ralf Rangnick's side is that it's difficult to escape from the idea that Liverpool are the club – in terms of how they're run and the success they're enjoying – that most United fans wish they were.

The template

Change is coming at Old Trafford. Whether it is for the better remains to be seen, but it would appear Erik ten Hag is set to be confirmed as United's next permanent manager in the coming weeks.

As highly rated as the Dutchman is, there is not masses of evidence to suggest anything will be better with him in charge. After all, under each of the four managers appointed in full-term roles since Ferguson, there are arguments to be made that they were not the biggest issue – rather, the club's hierarchy and decision-makers were.

Regardless of whether you agree with the decision or rate him as a coach, Rangnick's arrival as interim manager in November at least suggested United were attempting a cultural reset. Here was a "football man" with a track record of establishing certain processes and tactical setups at clubs coming in to potentially lay the groundwork for a rebuild.

But a lot of Rangnick's public advice to United has looked eerily like him pointing blatantly at Liverpool and saying: "Them, look at them. That's how you run a football club."

Klopp's arrival in 2015 was undoubtedly momentous. Liverpool had already shown promising signs in terms of their forward-thinking approach when initially hiring his predecessor Brendan Rodgers, as all the names reported to be on their shortlist when the current Leicester City boss got the job were coaches who had similar tactical outlooks, were young and spoke of the importance of "philosophies" or "projects".

A two-time Bundesliga-winning Klopp was, of course, a coach of an altogether different calibre. Their choice at the time was apparently between him and Carlo Ancelotti, but the fact they went for the German was by no means surprising. For one, the brand of football he was going to implement was hardly going to be a polar opposite of that employed by Rodgers, while he always appeared a far greater fit culturally than the Italian.

Klopp's arrival was seen as a coup. Let's not forget, in October 2015 Liverpool weren't exactly considered among the "elite". Historically, sure, but not competitively at that moment.

They went on to finish eighth in the Premier League, averaging 1.6 points per game – over Klopp's entire Premier League career, he's collected 2.1 per game, highlighting just how much of an improvement he's presided over.

While difficult to pinpoint one key factor, Rangnick was unequivocal in his surmising of his compatriot's situation on Monday, saying: "The same happened at other clubs. When he came to Borussia Dortmund or when he started his coaching career at Mainz, he developed all of those clubs, he raised the whole team and club to a different kind of level. This is what modern management is all about. He's one of the best, if not the best coach, not only now but in the past couple of years.

"If this should be a role model, I don't know. It's definitely no coincidence what's happened there in the last six years. In his first year, when he came during the season after eight or nine games and they finished eighth, and thereafter they just made the necessary adaptations. They brought in the right players, they got rid of the right players, they just built, they really built a squad and that's why they are where they are."

Patience is a virtue

Klopp's success at Liverpool isn't something that United can copy and paste. Even if the Reds' club setup is married to the coach's managerial style, the man in charge still needs to be very, very good at his job.

Ten Hag has done well at Ajax. He's taken them to a Champions League semi-final, played attractive football and looks likely to win a second Eredivisie title – but they have a club-wide 'philosophy' that the head coach must work within, rather than establish himself. United do not, as highlighted by the hotch-potch of tactical styles embraced with David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and even Rangnick.

As such, the current squad has been assembled by Ferguson and his four successors, which hardly screams cohesion. Granted, one coach building a squad in its entirety is rare given how quickly clubs are to chop and change these days, but of Liverpool's first-choice XI, only Jordan Henderson was not brought to the club – or nurtured through the academy – during Klopp's reign.

United's appointment of John Murtough as football director and Darren Fletcher as technical director at least hinted at the club being brought out of the dark ages in terms of its structure, while many in the fanbase will have seen Ed Woodward's departure at the end of 2021 as a positive step.

The jury is still out on this new-look setup, though there is seemingly now something more closely resembling Liverpool's so-called "transfer committee". Indeed, that term is a bit of a blast from the past – it was once something you would regularly hear mentioned and sneered at during Rodgers' reign and early on in Klopp's spell, but Liverpool's undoubted success in terms of recruitment over the past six years speaks for itself.

Ten Hag will represent a gamble for United, but – assuming he does take the job – he will also be arguably the first up-and-coming manager to be appointed by the club since Ferguson. The Dutchman's is only two years Klopp's junior but is definitely on the rise reputationally.

No one knows if he'll be a success and, to be fair, he will need to justify patience to a degree. But time, trust and joint-up thinking have clearly been vital to Liverpool with Klopp – if United do truly value Rangnick's input, they would do well to heed his advice here.

Ajax are attempting everything in their power to keep Manchester United target Erik ten Hag, according to the club's technical manager Gerry Hamstra.

Ten Hag has been repeatedly linked with the permanent United job, which will become available at the end of the season when Ralf Rangnick moves into a consultancy role.

The Dutchman and Mauricio Pochettino appeared among the favourites for the Old Trafford role, though reports in the last week suggested Ten Hag has all but agreed on a deal.

Hamstra, who is the highest technical director at the Eredivisie champions after Marc Overmars departed earlier in the year, insists Ajax have left no stone unturned in their attempts to retain Ten Hag.

"We have done everything we can and are doing everything we can to keep him on board," Hamstra told ESPN.

"Contract extension offered? Yes. More money? Everything that comes with it, without going into detail."

Hamstra was speaking before Ajax's 2-1 defeat to PSV in the Dutch Cup final, the latter side scoring twice in as many minutes through Erick Gutierrez and Cody Gakpo to secure victory.

The two teams are also locked in a battle for the Eredivisie title, with Ajax four points clear ahead of the final five games.

If the reigning Eredivisie champions can retain their crown, it would be their third league title under Ten Hag, who guided them to the 2018-19 Champions League semi-finals before a last-gasp loss to Tottenham.

While Hamstra is keen to see more from the 52-year-old, he conceded the decision remains in Ten Hag's hands.

"Erik can ultimately determine his own future. He is old enough and wise enough for that," he added.

"We have two scenarios: we really hope he stays; it makes sense that there is interest in him. If he doesn't stay, we have to be ready for the second scenario."

Erik ten Hag will shoulder greater pressure at Manchester United than at Ajax with trophies expected of the Dutchman if he takes the job, former Red Devils defender Jaap Stam has warned.

Ten Hag has emerged as the likely frontrunner to become the next full-time boss at Old Trafford, succeeding interim manager Ralf Rangnick.

While he is no stranger to success with Ajax in the Eredivisie, Stam feels he will face bigger struggles with expectation at the Premier League outfit.

"The pressure at United is much greater," Stam stated. "The club management can be patient, but that does not mean you get time from the outside world.

"The title and the Champions League are expected. That is no different under a new coach."

If Ten Hag does take the Old Trafford job, he will be faced with the prospect of another major squad overhaul following United's failures this year.

The futures of several star men, including Paul Pogba, Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcus Rashford and Harry Maguire, are likely to be the topic of intense speculation.

Stam, however, says any new coach will face a tough juggling act in deciding who stays and who leaves the Theatre of Dreams.

"Something has to change but you cannot say, 'these 15 must go and these 10 remain'," he added.

"There are many large contracts. But some changes are crucial for a breath of fresh air and success.

"It becomes difficult if they do not fit into your system. There is a world of difference between the Netherlands and England."

With United looking to break a barren silverware run next term stretching back to 2017, Stam added that Ten Hag must impose himself upon the club to deliver results.

"In England there are three high-level matches every week, with good players at every club, and sometimes you have to change the way you play," he stated.

"If you achieve results, trust grows. However, clubs often ask for £40million more when United knocks.

"But whoever you do it with, the style of play and what you expect from players in it must be made very clear."

Inter are firming as a likely destination for Paulo Dybala, as the end to his time at Juventus draws near.

The Argentina international has provided 96 goals and 51 assists in 265 league appearances for Juventus, but will not stay in an evident rebuild under Max Allegri.

While Dybala is set to leave after seven seasons in Turin, and after a near-move to Tottenham, it appears he might stay in Italy's Serie A after all.

 

TOP STORY – INTER CLOSE IN ON DYBALA

Inter are closing in on Paulo Dybala, whose contract at Juventus will expire at the end of the season, according to reports from La Gazzetta dello Sport.

The 28-year-old attacker has drifted out to the periphery for the Turin giants, ever since Cristiano Ronaldo's transfer, to the point where they are not willing to renew his contract.

Per the report however, Inter face potential stumbling blocks in fitting Dybala within their wage structure, with talks between the club and his representatives focused on bridging any gaps in expectations.

While Inter would seek to bring Dybala in next season, they are not in a capacity to offer a €6milliion salary, currently earned by Lautaro Martinez and Marcelo Brozovic.

Though Inter are unsure of Martinez's future at the San Siro, Alexis Sanchez falling out of favour under Simone Inzaghi could facilitate Dybala's addition.

 

ROUND-UP

– Juventus are keen to sign Roma's Nicolo Zaniolo, and are prepared to add Moise Kean as part of a package deal, according to Nicolo Schira.

Manchester United have reached a verbal agreement in principle for Erik ten Hag to leave Ajax and become their next manager, The Athletic is reporting.

Liverpool are prepared to make a £25million (€30m) offer for Torino's Gleison Bremer, per Tuttomercato.

Barcelona must be prepared to pay Juventus €100m in order to sign 22-year-old centre-back Matthijs de Ligt, Fichajes is reporting.

– Atletico Madrid are interested in signing Lautaro Martinez, with Inter setting a transfer price range of €70-80m, per Nicolo Schira.

Paul Pogba's time at Manchester United is set to come to an end when his contract expires at the end of this season.

The France international arrived at Old Trafford in a £93million deal in August 2016, which at the time broke the record for most expensive transfer in the history of world football.

But after six seasons, Pogba appears destined for pastures new, and a giant from Ligue 1 is looking to win the race to his signature.

 

TOP STORY – PSG MAKE POGBA A PRIORITY

Paris Saint-Germain are looking to bring Pogba home to France, and are making him a "priority signing", according to Footmercato.

With the football world anticipating the exit of Kylian Mbappe from the French giants, there will be money to spend, and with Pogba available on a free transfer, his personal terms are reportedly "not so high".

In an injury-interrupted campaign, Pogba has played 18 Premier League matches this season, scoring one goal and providing nine assists.

 

ROUND-UP

Arsenal are targeting Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves, according to Sky Sports.

– El Confidencial is reporting Manchester City are ready to trigger the €60m release clause for Real Sociedad midfielder Mikel Merino.

– According to Goal, Pep Guardiola is interested in bringing River Plate midfielder Enzo Fernandez to Manchester City after signing team-mate Julian Alvarez in January.

– Calciomercato is reporting that Juventus are entering the race for Ajax's Brazilian winger Antony, who also has interest from Bayern Munich and Manchester United.

Tottenham want to convert Dejan Kulusevski's loan deal into a permanent signing, in a move that will likely cost €35m, per Calciomercato.

– NBA chairman Larry Tanenbaum and Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin have joined a consortium with Boston Celtics co-owner Stephen Pagliuca in a bid to buy Chelsea, according to The Daily Mirror.

Gary Neville says there are no guarantees Erik ten Hag will want to take over as Manchester United boss with the club having descended into a "farce".

Ajax head coach Ten Hag is reportedly the man United want to take over from interim boss Ralf Rangnick at the end of the season.

The Red Devils look set to miss out on qualifying for the Champions League next season, as they are seventh in the Premier League after a 1-0 defeat to struggling at Everton on Saturday.

United have not won a trophy since 2017 and are in need of a rebuilding job.

Neville took aim at the players after their latest insipid display and although the former United defender is hopeful they will get their man, he would not be surprised if Ten Hag decides the Old Trafford hotseat is not for him.

He said on the Gary Neville Podcast: "I've got very few words left for Manchester United. No anger, no comment anymore. They are a bit of a farce; you almost expect it from them. The players are taking Ralf Rangnick down with them. They are bad.

"They've got to get to the end of the season as quickly as possible. The reality is that any kind of performance in the last week against Leicester and Everton and they would have been in top four, but they haven't got the spirit or the fight.

"When I look at Manchester City and Liverpool, they have humble football players; no over-inflated egos, they understand their position, the team comes first. There isn't one Manchester United player that would get into any of those two teams, so why would you have an over-inflated ego, think you didn't have to work hard, or be spiritless? I don't see anything anymore."

He added: "I've read in the Sunday papers that Erik ten Hag wants all of his demands met or else he won't come to the club. Imagine if they can't get Ten Hag over the line because of what's happening at the moment, and how bad a state the club are in.

"If you look at what Manchester United are doing to players, there isn't one who has grown. Look at what they did to Donny van de Beek. If you're Ten Hag, I think you're on the phone to Van de Beek. What's it like there, Donny? He's not saying anything good, is he?

"I suspect Ten Hag's demands aren't financial, they will be about control, recruitment, structure, youth. I suspect he wants to come in and make sure he's not exposed to what other managers have been exposed to in these last 10 years.

"That might be too much for Manchester United, and I suspect it may be difficult week or two for the club. I still think they will get it over the line, but the reports this morning were that Ten Hag was placing demands on the club that maybe go above and beyond. We shouldn't believe everything but, ordinarily, when things come out from credible sources we normally know.

"Ralf Rangnick came with an incredible reputation, but he's now starting to be wounded by what's happening around him and he looks weaker and vulnerable on the touchline due to the performances of players on the pitch, who have nothing to do with him."

Barcelona have asserted they will not break the bank in pursuit of Erling Haaland, but they remain keen on a striker to help Xavi's rebuild.

Robert Lewandowski is seen as a potential option if does not extend his deal at Bayern Munich.

According to reports, Lewandowski is weighing up his options, as Barcelona prepare themselves for a possible move.

 

TOP STORY – DEST TO BE USED AS MAKEWEIGHT?

Sergino Dest will be added as a sweetener to get a potential deal for Bayern's Lewandowski to Barcelona over the line, Sport reports.

Bayern already made a transfer request during the previous off-season's transfer window for the 21-year-old United States international, who has struggled for consistent minutes since Xavi took over as coach in November.

While a combination of Ronald Araujo, Dani Alves and Oscar Mingueza have all filled in at right back this season, Dest has been increasingly viewed as expendable under Xavi's tenure.

Lewandowski's contract runs out in 2023, but a move at the end of this season is still on the cards. Barca could use Dest to partly subsidise what is sure to be a huge asking price.

 

ROUND-UP

– The agent of Chelsea and Germany forward Timo Werner has been in Italy meeting with representatives from MilanJuventus and Atalanta, according to Corriere dello Sport.

– Ajax and Netherlands midfielder Ryan Gravenberch has agreed personal terms with Bayern Munich, per Bild.

– The Mirror is reporting senior figures at Inter are now more open to the idea of a return for Chelsea and Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku.

– Villarreal and Netherlands winger Arnaut Danjuma is viewed by Liverpool as a potential replacement for Sadio Mane, Goal has reported, but the Reds are not expected to make a bid until 2023.

Manchester United and Barcelona sent messages of support to Louis van Gaal after the Netherlands coach revealed he is fighting prostate cancer.

Dutch veteran Van Gaal is a former boss at Old Trafford and Camp Nou, and both clubs wished him well after Sunday's announcement.

It was revealed by Van Gaal on Dutch TV show Humberto that he has undergone 25 rounds of radiation treatment.

The 70-year-old has continued to work and did not tell his players of his condition when the Netherlands squad got together in March for friendlies against Denmark and Germany.

Van Gaal had two spells as Barcelona head coach and won LaLiga titles in 1998 and 1999, while he guided United to the FA Cup in 2016 at the end of a two-year stint in England.

Barcelona said: "Our thoughts and prayers go out to former Barca manager Louis van Gaal, who has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Stay strong, Louis, and get well soon."

United sent their best wishes, stating: "Everybody at Manchester United is fully behind our former manager, Louis van Gaal, in his battle against cancer. Sending you strength and courage, Louis "

Former England striker Gary Lineker, who played for Barcelona in the 1980s, wrote on Twitter: "Sending best wishes and hopes for a full recovery to Louis Van Gaal, who announced on Dutch television tonight that he's battling prostate cancer."

Van Gaal, a Champions League winner with Ajax in 1995, is due to lead the Netherlands at the World Cup later this year.

He took charge of the national team for a third time after coming out of retirement last August.

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