Erik ten Hag blames former executives for Manchester United's £400m transfer spree

Antony has been one of the most underwhelming signings Erik ten Hag has made at Manchester United
-Credit: (Image: James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images)

Erik ten Hag has distanced himself from the responsibility of Manchester United's hefty £400million transfer spend, pointing out that he wasn't behind the costly acquisitions of players such as Antony, Rasmus Hojlund, Casemiro, Mason Mount, and Andre Onana.

The Dutch manager has made it clear that he played no part in the financial side of player negotiations, hinting that the decisions were made by former CEO Richard Arnold and previous football director John Murtough, despite the investments not yielding significant success.

Ten Hag remarked: "The prices paid for players are indeed very high - but I am not responsible for that. The club did all the negotiations, including with very good potential players who didn't come in the end.

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"So it is all a bit more nuanced than the picture that is being painted that the purchase policy is disastrous. It's all negative, but despite all the problems, the foundation at the club has grown stronger."

Ten Hag also noted, as relayed by the Mirror: "That may not all be visible to the outside world now, but everyone internally will make that analysis."

Highlighting the promising talents within the squad, Ten Hag added: "With talents like (Kobbie) Mainoo, (Alejandro) Garnacho, Hojlund and also someone like Amad, who has developed very strongly, the future looks bright."

Ten Hag is eager to bolster his team with three key signings - an attacker, two centre-backs, and a midfielder. He believes that with these additions, coupled with keeping his squad fit with the help of incoming physio Jordan Reece from Arsenal, United can once again compete at the highest level.

"Then you can start playing towards the top four with such an eleven. That gives me hope and is also realistic in my eyes," he added.

"The plan last year was clear: we buy a striker and get a goalkeeper who is able to shape the football from behind, and an extra midfielder. That was the approach and in theory we would then be stronger and be able to take the next step."