Erik ten Hag is confident Manchester United can implement their transfer planning this summer regardless of whether there is a change in ownership or not.
A potential takeover has been stalling after the Glazer family announced they were considering selling the club as part of “exploring strategic alternatives” in November.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s Ineos Group and Qatari businessman Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani are the two main parties jostling to buy United having lodged bids with merchant bank Raine Group.
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Minority investment has not been ruled out yet either and while the landscape around who will have control of United ahead of the new season is uncertain, Ten Hag believes he will be able to shape the squad as required during the summer window.
When asked whether the delayed takeover process was affecting transfer strategy or if he was able to press on with the recruitment team, the United manager told Sky Sports News: “Yeah, that’s what I’m doing and that’s our job.
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“This season that has to be our energy and the focus, but of course we are also planning for the future, for next season and that’s what we have to do. And that is also talking with your scouting department, recruitment responsibilities, and talking with players of course.”
When asked if the club would be able to move for their key targets this summer if there was no change in the ownership situation, Ten Hag responded: “I think so. I came in here [at the end of] last season and we talked about what can we do in the squad, what can we do in transfers.
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“And last year, the club confirmed they can do. So, for me, I don’t think anything changed and yeah, in this summer period we can do the same.”
United have highlighted signing a top forward and dynamic midfielder among their chief to-do tasks in the window.
While it is business as usual in terms of recruitment and other practices at the club, there is some trepidation that a contrasting direction and even different personnel could accompany a new ownership group.
As things stand, United are certain good groundwork has been laid for the summer window.
Whether there will be a change in ownership and agreement with that planning is the big unknown.
Qataris submit increased fourth bid for Man Utd
Sky Sports chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol explains the full extent of Sheikh Jassim’s latest improved bid to take full ownership of Manchester United and analyses why the process is taking so long
Sky Sports News revealed last week that Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani has submitted an increased fourth bid to buy Manchester United.
Sheikh Jassim’s renewed offer, believed to be close to £5bn but shy of the Glazer family’s £6bn valuation, was submitted to the Raine Group, the New York-based investment bank overseeing the sale of the club.
The third and final round of bidding concluded on April 28 but, with reports claiming a revised offer from Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS had put them in pole position to acquire United, Sheikh Jassim has moved again.
Sheikh Jassim believes his bid is a very competitive one which brings huge benefits to Manchester United, including clearing nearly £1bn worth of club debt and a separate fund to redevelop Old Trafford, the surrounding area and the club’s Carrington training ground.
INEOS values United at a higher price than Sheikh Jassim’s bid but it is not for the whole club and would give the Glazers the opportunity to keep a 20 per cent stake.
Man Utd offered chance to sign Neymar
Image: PSG's Neymar could leave the club this summer
Manchester United have been approached by intermediaries about signing Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain this summer.
They are one of a number of clubs who have been contacted about Neymar’s potential availability.
While a deal might make sense from a commercial point of view, he is not currently a United target.
In any case, it is difficult to see how United would be able to sign him and pay his wages and how he would adapt to playing in the Premier League.
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