ten Hag slams 'naive' Man Utd after defeat to Brentford
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Manchester United have made contact with the agents of Sergej Milinkovic-Savic despite being close to signing Casemiro, according to reports. The Serbia international has been linked with a move to Old Trafford every summer for the past few years. And with the Glazers finally ready to splash the cash, it’s possible the Lazio star will end up heading to the Premier League before the transfer window shuts at the beginning of next month.
Manchester United are on the verge of landing Casemiro from Real Madrid.
The Red Devils insist the Brazil international has been on their shortlist all summer, despite only just pursuing his signature after missing out on the likes of Frenkie de Jong and Adrien Rabiot – of Barcelona and Juventus respectively.
United are hopeful of completing a deal for Casemiro imminently, with the five-time Champions League winner set to head to Old Trafford in a huge £60million deal.
Yet The Telegraph say the Red Devils have also made contact with the agents of Milinkovic-Savic as they look to bolster their squad before the deadline.
The Lazio star was impressive in Serie A last term, scoring 11 goals and clocking up 11 assists from 37 matches in the competition.
And he’s already clocked up one assist this season, with the 27-year-old shining as his side beat Bologna 2-1 in their opening fixture on Sunday.
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Milinkovic-Savic is a different type of player to Casemiro.
The Serbia international is more attack-minded, but it’s possible the duo will be deployed together in a flat two-man midfield with Christian Eriksen or Bruno Fernandes then playing further ahead.
It’s believed he’d cost in the region of £42m, with Lazio determined to get as much money as possible for their prized asset.
United previously pondered landing the 27-year-old back in the summer transfer window of 2018, when Jose Mourinho ruled the roost.
Mourinho had wanted to replace Paul Pogba that summer, with the pair’s relationship worsening behind the scenes as the club finished second in the Premier League table that year.
Yet Pogba ended up staying and outlasting the Portuguese, who was then sacked mere months later.
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United also want a right-back and have been offered the chance to land Thomas Meunier, with the Borussia Dortmund star a boyhood fan of the Red Devils.
So it’ll be interesting to see who they end up bringing in by the time the transfer window slams shut.
Another option for United is Christian Pulisic.
The Chelsea star was on the Red Devils’ radar before he left Borussia Dortmund for Stamford Bridge in 2019, shortly after Eden Hazard joined Real Madrid.
Pulisic has struggled for consistency and game time during his time in west London and is believed to be tempted by a move to United.
However, it’s currently unclear if Chelsea will allow the USA international to join a direct rival – even if there’s some distance between the two clubs at present.
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United have endured a nightmare start to the new season.
They lost 2-1 to Brighton in their opening fixture at Old Trafford, with Pascal Gross’ brace giving the visitors all three points on a disappointing day at the office.
And they were then battered 4-0 by Brentford on Saturday, with Josh Dasilva, Mathias Jensen, Ben Mee and Bryan Mbeumo all on target.
Ten Hag was asked about United’s need to strengthen the squad after the debacle at the Gtech Community Stadium, with that defeat seeing his side rooted to the bottom of the Premier League table.
And the 52-year-old said: “New signings? Yes. We need new players and quality players.
“We will try and convince them to join us.
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“Only when we stick together we will overcome it. The manager is the main responsibility and I take that.”
United are next in action against Liverpool on Monday night (8pm) as they go in search of a first Premier League win of the season.
And they’ll be hoping to avoid a repeat of what happened in both matches against the Reds last term.
United lost 5-0 to Liverpool at Old Trafford in October last year, with Mohamed Salah netting a memorable hat-trick for his team.
They then proceeded to lose 4-0 in the reverse fixture at Anfield, leading Ralf Rangnick to claim the Red Devils needed as many as 10 new signings to close the gap on their fierce rivals.
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