Erik ten Hag is putting his summer transfer wheels at Manchester United into immediate motion – with one Italian journalist revealing the name right at the top of his summer wishlist.
The Red Devils opted for a conservative approach to the recently-closed January transfer window. Indeed, it seemed Jack Butland – a replacement for Martin Dubravka – and Wout Weghorst – who provides short-term cover for Cristiano Ronaldo – would be the only additions.
However, an injury sustained by Christian Eriksen late in the month has ruled out the Dane until late April. And with United short of options, the club allowed Ten Hag to secure the late addition of Marcel Sabizter just before the window closed.
The Austrian star arrives on loan from Bayern Munich and appears ready to give his all. However, his arrival at Old Trafford has already has already seen Rio Ferdinand at loggerheads over the deal with Paul Merson.
Nonetheless, Ten Hag will hope his squad is well equipped to continue their push towards four goals. Indeed, as it stands, they are currently the only Premier League side left fighting on four fronts. As such, the United manager will need as many options as possible.
Their main, that said, is surely on securing a top-four finish and with it a return to Champions League football.
That would also seriously impact on Ten Hag’s summer spending. And Wednesday’s Euro Paper Talk suggests a deal for a big-name Barcelona attacker is a genuine possibility.
Indeed, a host of names are seemingly on their radar from Harry Kane, Victor Osimhen and Goncalo Ramos.
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Man Utd to make Dusan Vlahovic top summer target
However, Italian journalist Rudy Galetti has other ideas. And he is adamant that United are gearing up for a big-money assault to sign another striker instead.
And he insists the man at the centre of their attention is Juventus frontman Dusan Vlahovic.
He claims Ten Hag has instructed his scouts to pay ‘extreme attention’ to his performances over the next few months. And with Juventus suffering a 15-point penalty for transfer irregularities, some big-name departures look likely to leave.
The word in Italy is that Vlahovic, a January 2022 capture from Fiorentina, will be the big name to depart.
That is a view shared by Galetti, who claims ‘first confirmations’ about a summer sale have been made known to him.
And he reveals that Juventus are making it clear that the 6ft 3in Serbian will be on the market for a starting price of £70.1m (€80m).
That will certainly fall within United’s summer budget, with Vlahovic likely to cost less than Kane and Osimhen.
Indeed, the 23-year-old has the characteristics that Ten Hag likes, who favours the option of a big-man in attack. That was an approach he used to good affect at Ajax with Sebastien Haller. And it’s a formula he has repeated at United too with Weghorst arriving on a short-term deal.
Per Galetti, Vlahovic is the main striker that Ten Hag has set his sights on this summer. And he reportedly feels he can take his game on to another level by securing his signing this summer.
The frontman has a record of 68 goals in 172 career appearances – around a goal every 2.5 games.
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