ERIK TEN HAG is preparing a near-£200MILLION double whammy to sign both Jude Bellingham and Frenkie de Jong next summer.
When England’s teenage whizzkid Bellingham decides where to move from Borussia Dortmund, Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is determined to be a part of the conversation.
Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag is planning an overhaul of his midfield next summerCredit: Getty
Frenkie de Jong is one target for the club after failing to sign him in the summerCredit: Getty
Jude Bellingham is also a target after impressing for Borussia Dortmund and England Credit: AP
And, after failing to sign de Jong from Barcelona when he arrived at Old Trafford in July, he will try once more to persuade his fellow countryman to move to the Premier League.
As part of his re-building strategy, the Dutchman has already spent nearly £230 million on bringing in new talent.
Lisandro Martinez arrived with Christian Eriksen, Antony, Tyrell Malacia, and Casemiro to join his Argentinian teammates in their quest for World Cup glory.
Ten Hag hopes to be a replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo, who was fired in disgrace after his infamous “no respect” TV interview with Piers Morgan.
His January shopping list includes Benfica striker Goncalo Ramos and PSV Eindhoven winger Cody Gapko.
Nonetheless, ten Hag understands that bringing in more star quality is necessary if he is to turn around the fortunes of a club that has not won the Premier League title since Sir Alex Ferguson’s signing in 2013.
He is said to believe that Bellingham can be persuaded to participate in what he believes will be one of the most exciting and spectacular makeovers in history.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes he is in a good position to sign the 19-year-old midfield icon of England’s heroic but doomed World Cup bid.
Real Madrid believes they are in pole position to sign the former Birmingham City player.
But ten Hag, who has been told that either a sell-out by the Glazers or new investment will significantly increase his transfer war chest, is believed to be adamant that United enter an expected £130m bidding war for the Brummie.
De Jong, who could cost at least £60 million, is still at the Nou Camp after refusing to leave for United amid a dispute over £17 million he claims is owed to him for unpaid wages.
He stated before Holland’s World Cup campaign that he still sees himself at Barcelona for several years.
Despite this, ten Hag, who helped bring him through at Ajax, is said to believe he can still entice the 25-year-old to Old Trafford.
Ten Hag’s spending plans are likely to come at the expense of some of his club’s current stars.
He made it clear last week that, while he was impressed by Harry Maguire’s performances in Qatar, he will still have to compete for his place.
The £85 million centre half returns from England duty tomorrow, along with the rest of United’s World Cup contingent, with the exception of Martinez and Raphael Varane, who will face off in today’s final.
If the world’s most expensive defender, signed from Leicester City in 2019, decides he cannot make himself a regular, United may be willing to take a £40 million hit.
Outcast £50 million right back
Aaron Wan-Bissaka is wanted by Wolves on loan next month, and after joining in 2019 from Crystal Palace, he looks set to leave permanently next summer.
Back on the left Brandon Williams and midfielder Fred could also be sold to fund ten Hag’s massive project.
And now that Ronaldo has left, the manager of the Theatre of Dreams has the superstar’s £490,000 weekly wage to work with in negotiations following his dismissal last month.