Monday, June 27, 2022

Important Week For Manchester United

After a largely somnolent and often negative offseason to date, this could be the week that Manchester United takes a positive step toward rebuilding its reeling side. Manger Erik ten Hag will take to the pitch in leading his first practice sessions for the club at their Carrington Road facility.

Players not involved with recent international duty will go through the paces for the Dutch manager who will be happy to lose himself in actual football for at least some respite from the frustration of this offseason. United is one of only two clubs comprising the traditional Top Six of English football which have yet to add a player in this transfer window. Chelsea can be excused for a late start in the face of a disruptive ownership change. It is more difficult to excuse the lack of progress made at Manchester United.

The advent of a new managerial regime follows on the wreckage of last season which saw the club’s worst ever Premier League finish. On field embarrassment has been matched in the post-Ferguson era by off-field incompetence. Chief Executive Officer Richard Arnold exclaimed to fans in a pub some weeks ago that the club had burned money on wasted transfers in the recent past. Supporters looked for hopeful beginnings under new manager ten Hag and football director John Murtough. Instead, Manchester United dealings have lagged in a manner not uncommon for the club in recent windows.

The primary focus has been a well-publicized chase for Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong. The impact on negotiations of publicly identifying one player as the key to their fortunes has been a debatable ploy from a negotiating perspective. The player has also been reported to have misgivings about joining his former manager in the attempted rescue of the broken Manchester club. The Dutch international played under ten Hag at Ajax where the two helped lead the Eredivisie champions to a European Champions League semifinal. De Jong joins current Ajax defender Jurrien Timber as former players for ten Hag who seem disposed to wish their old manager well from afar.

The attraction of Old Trafford has dimmed so greatly that former Tottenham Hotspur and Inter Milan star Christian Ericksen is supposedly undecided between the opportunity to play for the legendary Red Devils or a Brentford club which has played just one season in the Premier League. Eriksen would be a free transfer. United needs to reach agreement on price with Barcelona on the still under contract de Jong. The clubs have been wrangling for over a month now. United supporters were angry this past week on word of a dividend being paid to Glazer led ownership in an amount which would have likely sealed the de Jong transfer if so applied. This week will be telling for new Manchester United transfer decision makers ten Hag and Murtough. Barcelona is under pressure to balance their books before the end of their financial year on June 30th.

The financial reporting deadline adds to the already present need for the Spanish club to raise monies to fund incoming player transfers. De Jong is not deemed critical to Barcelona Manager Xavi’s plans. Barcelona is thus highly motivated. Ten Hag, on the other hand, would like to have his pivotal player on board before his other international players arrive next week for one week of practice together before they depart the training ground for preseason matches. This is an important week for Manchester United to give its fans encouragement and instill faith in the ten Hag project. 


No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave a comment: