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Erik ten Hag still wants five Man Utd signings before transfer window closes

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is not satisfied with his squad options and would like the club to strengthen in five positions before the transfer window closes.

United have only managed to acquire three players for the entire duration of the summer to date, with the club’s lack of activity in the market so far causing huge frustration with a fanbase that has seen its first team squad underdeliver for nearly a year, under three different managers.

Ten Hag has presided over two defeats from United’s opening two games of the season, and they currently sit bottom of the Premier League ahead of Monday’s visit of Liverpool. United were beaten by Brighton on the opening weekend and pummelled by Thomas Frank’s Brentford on Saturday evening.

The volume of square pegs in round holes has been obvious for most to see in Ten Hag’s early matches in charge, and he labelled his players as “naive” in his post match press conference following the 4-0 loss last time out. The Dutchman is keen to address the issues and transform the squad in order to turn around fortunes, with a number of players also expected to leave this month.

It’s understood that Ten Hag wants to add to United’s squad options with five new signings across five separate positions before the window closes at 11pm on Thursday, September 1.

United’s pursuit of Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong continues and 90min understands United remain confident they will eventually pull the deal off – an initial report on their desire to bring De Jong to Old Trafford came in May – but issues between De Jong and Barcelona over deferred wages continues to be the stumbling block.

De Jong was identified as the club’s primary target to play in the ‘number six’ role which Christian Eriksen was exposed in at Brentford, and is seen as imperative to Ten Hag’s plans to install a new playing style on the squad he has at his disposal.

United are also looking to sign a second midfielder, and are expected to sign Adrien Rabiot from Juventus in the coming days after striking an agreement over a fee and thrashing out personal terms with his mother and agent Veronique.

The unsettled Cristiano Ronaldo could be allowed to leave the club before the transfer window closes, and United have been looking at a number of solutions to replace him should he depart – with the Portuguese and his camp pushing for United to let him join a Champions League club.

A number of central striking options are on United’s radar, with a deal for Atletico Madrid’s Matheus Cunha most recently explored though a deal at this stage looks unlikely. Other strikers, including Jamie Vardy – as 90min reported at the start of August – and Stuttgart’s Sasa Kalajdzic, have also been considered.

Ten Hag would also like to sign a wide forward, with Ajax’s Antony chased for a long period over the summer before the Dutch champions priced United out of a deal. PSV’s Cody Gakpo has been of some interest too while United have also been offered Wolves attacker Pedro Neto – who is a client of Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes.

Wolves are set to break their transfer record with the signing of midfielder Matheus Nunes, while they have also spent big on Goncalo Guedes and Nathan Collins so far this summer. The club may need to sell a big-money asset in order to balance the books before the window closes and Neto could fetch them a significant fee. He would also provide an answer to United’s issues on the flanks.

Ten Hag would also like a new right back, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka firmly out of the frame and available for transfer. A loan move back to former club Crystal Palace looks the most likely option at present.

Diogo Dalot’s early season performances have not inspired confidence and United do like Barcelona’s Sergino Dest, who played under Ten Hag at Ajax before joining Barcelona in 2020. Celtic full back Josip Juranovic is also considered an option, as reported last week.

How many players United manage to bring in before the close of the transfer window remains to be seen, however, despite Ten Hag’s desire to strengthen across the pitch.

Eric Bailly, Phil Jones and James Garner could all leave the club before the window closes too, alongside the aforementioned Wan-Bissaka and Ronaldo.

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