Erik ten Hag rejects Man Utd transfer blame as reinvented former Rangers star makes him believe

Erik ten Hag, Manager of Manchester United, carries the Emirates FA Cup
-Credit: (Image: The FA via Getty Images)

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has distanced himself from the club's recent hefty transfer spending, which exceeded £400million.

Ten Hag has made it clear that he wasn't behind the big-money signings such as Antony, Rasmus Hojlund, Casemiro, Mason Mount, and Andre Onana, pointing out that it was Richard Arnold, the former chief executive, and John Murtough, the ex-football director, who were calling the shots on those United deals. The Dutch gaffer emphasised his lack of involvement in setting the price tags, saying: "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."

He also defended the club's recruitment strategy, suggesting that the situation is more complex than critics suggest: "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 remains optimistic about the future, citing the growth of young talents within the squad: "That may not all be visible to the outside world now, but everyone internally will make that analysis. With talents like (Kobbie) Mainoo, (Alejandro) Garnacho, Hojlund and also someone like Amad Diallo, who has developed very strongly, the future looks bright."

Looking ahead, Ten Hag is targeting three key areas for reinforcement in the next transfer window a striker, a centre-back, and a midfielder. He believes that with these strategic additions and maintaining player fitness highlighting the arrival of physio Jordan Reece from Arsenalthe team 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."