Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag reviews Bournemouth game
Manchester United could take advantage of Neymar’s availability this summer if Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani completes a takeover. The wantaway PSG forward is reportedly in the Qatari billionaire’s sights as an early statement signing if he buys United from the Glazer family.
However, Erik ten Hag has three big reasons to challenge Sheikh Jassim’s blockbuster plans ahead of the second season of his rebuild at Old Trafford.
United have taken a chance on a number of ageing high-profile names as short-term fixes over the last decade.
Some produced mixed results, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edinson Cavani and Cristiano Ronaldo.
But others – and the trio above’s second-season syndrome – should be enough proof for Ten Hag to reject the opportunity to add Neymar to his attacking department.
Express Sport revisits three experienced flops that suggest signing the 31-year-old this summer would risk tarnishing the culture Ten Hag has built so far.
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On transfer deadline day in September 2014, Louis van Gaal recruited Radamel Falcao to join Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie as strikers in their twilight years at Old Trafford.
Falcao joined on a season-long loan after United paid AS Monaco £6million, with a £43.5m option to buy him in the following summer.
The Colombian veteran earned around £265,000 a week but scored just four goals in 29 appearances during his short stay.
A year after Falcao’s arrival, Van Gaal took another chance on experience by reuniting with Bayern Munich midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger.
The then-30-year-old was part of a double signing alongside Morgan Schneiderlin. Both were as bad as each other at Old Trafford.
Fans adhered to Schweinsteiger, a legend of the game, but the £14.4m failed to adapt to English football, making just 36 appearances across two seasons.
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Alexis Sanchez has gone down in history as one of United’s worst signings of all time. That would’ve sounded crazy while luring him from Arsenal on a free transfer in January 2018.
United beat Manchester City to his signature by offering a staggering £500,000 a week, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan going the other way in a swap deal.
Fan hype was off the scales – that piano announcement only intensified the anticipation. But it soon became clear that he was beyond his best, scoring five goals in 45 appearances across two seasons.
It worked out as over £4m per goal, a damning representation of United’s failure under former executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward’s watch.
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