Sir Jim Ratcliffe may deny Erik ten Hag dream transfer as Man Utd boss 'crazy' about star

Sir Jim Ratcliffe could deny Erik ten Hag his dream transfer at Manchester United (Image: GETTY)

Sir Jim Ratcliffe could step in to block Manchester United from signing a player that Erik ten Hag is said to be ‘crazy’ about. The Red Devils manager is facing an uncertain future at Old Trafford, with the club having made almost no progress since his arrival two years ago.

Ten Hag remains tied down to United until 2025 and has insisted on multiple occasions that he fully expects to be in charge next season. He has been involved in the club’s transfer planning and is said to have identified a number of potential targets ahead of the summer window.

One of those targets would appear to be Frenkie de Jong, with Mundo Deportivo reporting that Ten Hag is still ‘crazy’ about bringing the Barcelona midfielder to Old Trafford. United tried and failed to land De Jong two summers ago, with the player reportedly making it clear that he had no interest in moving to England.

The report states that Ten Hag considers De Jong as the ideal signing, having worked with him at Ajax when they reached the Champions League semi-finals in 2019. However, there is no guarantee that Ratcliffe will be prepared to give the green light, especially given the lack of certainty over Ten Hag’s future.

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Frenkie de Jong is still believed to be a target for Ten Hag ahead of the summer (Image: GETTY)

United are yet to make a firm call on whether or not to sack Ten Hag, with a decision not expected to be announced until after this month’s FA Cup final. A new boss might not share the same level of admiration for De Jong, who is very much a target for Ten Hag rather than being identified by the club’s hierarchy.

Even if Ten Hag stays at Old Trafford, he could quite easily be sacked in the middle of next season if he fails to turn things around. With this in mind, it would not be the smartest decision for United to spend a hefty transfer fee on De Jong without having a manager in place for the long term.

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As a result, it would not be a surprise to see Ratcliffe put his foot down and block any move for De Jong in spite of Ten Hag’s wishes. It remains to be seen how United’s transfer business will play out, with several other targets said to be under consideration.

A large number of players could also be about to leave, with reports suggesting that Ratcliffe is willing to sell the vast majority of their first-team squad. It is said that only Kobbie Mainoo, Rasmus Hojlund and Alejandro Garnacho are considered untouchable by those in power at Old Trafford.