Man Utd look like a bottom-half team… Erik ten Hag needs signings NOW but the right players don’t want to be in the game

It’s mid-June and already a new panic is creeping in among Manchester United fans.

While their traditional rivals Manchester City and Liverpool have jumped out of the starting blocks in the summer transfer market, United are standing still.

Erik ten Hag faces a tough job at Man Utd as he struggles to attract players


Erik ten Hag faces a tough job at Man Utd as he struggles to attract playersCredit: PA

You might even go backwards considering the players who have left like Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Edinson Cavani, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard.

Former United defender Gary Neville added to the sense of desperation with a tweet this week.

He wrote: “I know early in the window but it’s worrying that United are struggling to get business done. The others appear firm and ready but United can’t budge.

“ETH (Erik ten Hag) needs his group to form as soon as possible. If they are late, it will only make things harder for him! Fingers crossed it happens soon.”

It is being worked on. But it says everything about where United stand that they weren’t even considered by the camps of Erling Haaland and Darwin Nunez before joining City and Liverpool respectively.

And it appears the Merseyside club have just wrapped up their summer deal, with Aberdeen full-back Calvin Ramsay agreeing to a five-year deal to join Nunez and Fabio Carvalho, who have arrived from Fulham.

United’s problem is that they are not easy to sell at the moment. The club is a shambles, despite best efforts to put things in order from top to bottom.

There is no Champions League football on offer. The crowd turned on some of their own players. The protests against the unpopular owner family Glazer continue. And with every season without a title, the pressure just keeps building.

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Players will look at their own situation and wonder if a move to Old Trafford is really best for their careers.

In the nine years since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement, how many signings can you name that have boosted your career? Who got better? Who played their best football for United?

Probably Bruno Fernandes, but doubts crept in on him last season too.

Jadon Sancho was one of the hottest youngsters in world football when he joined United from Borussia Dortmund last summer. look now

Anthony Martial was named the best player in the world for his age when Louis van Gaal signed him from Monaco in 2015 as a 19-year-old. The club can’t get rid of him.

Bright stars like Marcus Rashford have regressed in the last 12 months.

Of course, a new manager like Erik ten Hag can change all that, but he now has a bigger job ahead of him than any of his post-Sir Alex predecessors.

For any player who is successful and happy at his current club, moving to United is a risk.

Darwin Nunez really only wanted to go to Liverpool


Darwin Nunez really only wanted to go to LiverpoolPhoto credit: Reuters
Man City beat United in signing Erling Haaland


Man City beat United in signing Erling HaalandPhoto credit: Getty

The Red Devils are trying to land Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona but the midfielder clearly doesn’t want to leave, calling the La Liga giants his ‘dream club’.

United, meanwhile, are unwilling to bow to a cashless Barca as the club demand a full repayment of the £65.4million they paid Ajax in 2019 for De Jong’s services.

United also don’t want to get caught up in another Cesc Fabregas-style chase that derailed David Moyes in the 2013/14 season.

Ten Hag wants to plunder his ex-club Ajax for defender Jurrien Timber and Brazilian winger Antony, 22.

However, Timber, 21, seems ready to sign a new deal to stay at Ajax after expressing concerns about how much football he would get in the first team – no doubt after Donny van de Beek’s move from Amsterdam to Old Trafford fell very flat.

Long gone are the days when United clicked their fingers and players came running.

Man Utd have seen many assets fall in value


Man Utd have seen many assets fall in valuePhoto credit: Rex
Jurrien Timber appears to snub Man Utd and stay at Ajax


Jurrien Timber appears to snub Man Utd and stay at AjaxPhoto credit: Getty

The club no longer want to pay massive wages to players who have already made a name for themselves elsewhere and for whom money is the main motivation.

They want hungry talent to climax with them. But is that talent looking elsewhere now?

The new fixtures were released yesterday, with United playing Brighton first at home, followed by Brentford away.

Fans will have breathed a sigh of relief – although nothing is guaranteed with the squad as it is right now.

Indeed, if the season started tomorrow and the squads stayed as they are, United could easily finish the bottom half.

If either of those two opening games isn’t won, the noise will be louder than ever.

To get off to a good start, they need new players – and they need them now.

But while many are looking for new challenges, nobody at Old Trafford is kicking in the doors to get inside. Man Utd look like a bottom-half team… Erik ten Hag needs signings NOW but the right players don’t want to be in the game


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