Ten Hag has busy transfer window to sort Man Utd shambles with Pogba and Cavani OUT while Rice and Kane are top targets

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A DAY after Ralf Rangnick announced an influx of up to ten new players could be needed in Manchester United’s rebuild, the club’s top two scouts were sacked.

Perhaps it was the hammering the club’s recruitment got on Sky from Graeme Souness and Co following the 4-0 defeat at Liverpool that did it.

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Edinson Cavani, Paul Pogba and Donny van de Beek seem three certs to leave Old Trafford in what could be a huge reshuffleCredit: Reuters
West Ham midfielder Declan Rice and Spurs striker Harry Kane could yet be team-mates for United as well as England next season

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West Ham midfielder Declan Rice and Spurs striker Harry Kane could yet be team-mates for United as well as England next seasonCredit: Getty
RB Leipzig’s Christopher Nkunku is a likely target for incoming Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag over the summer

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RB Leipzig’s Christopher Nkunku is a likely target for incoming Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag over the summerCredit: EPA

Either way, chief scout Jim Lawlor and head of global scouting Marcel Bout are out.

The pair had logged a combined 24 years at United.

But it is what has gone on in the last nine that has been the problem.
In that time £1billion has been spent on players.

What were United left with for their clash at bitter rivals Liverpool?
Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic, two players who started at Anfield, are definitely leaving this summer.

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As is Jesse Lingard, who came on to replace the injured Pogba after ten minutes.

Phil Jones was starting just his second game of the season and had to be withdrawn for his own good at half-time.

Elsewhere you could not name a single player who would get into Liverpool’s team, or Manchester City’s, or maybe even Chelsea or Spurs bar goalkeeper David de Gea.

The team is “nothing”, as Gary Neville put it.

So where does incoming boss Erik ten Hag start?

Ask any irate United fan right now and there would be nobody left at Carrington bar De Gea, Cristiano Ronaldo and a few young lads knocking on the door.

But Ten Hag has to balance how much better he can make what he is inheriting with those who are lost or “broken” — Neville’s word again — and simply irreparable.

Everyone will have their opinions and it is a lot easier just to say ‘Get out’ than give someone another chance.

Take local lad Marcus Rashford, who has just made his 300th appearance for United.

He has had a dreadful season, his woeful first touch when put through at Anfield in the first half summed it up.

Rashford’s confidence is shot on match day.

Yet Rangnick’s assessment of the player due to what he produces in training is still very high.

Marcus Rashford has been hot in training but rot in matches while Cristiano Ronaldo has provided vital goals but a tactical headache

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Marcus Rashford has been hot in training but rot in matches while Cristiano Ronaldo has provided vital goals but a tactical headacheCredit: Getty
Man Utd defenders Luke Shaw and Harry Maguire, here sandwiching top transfer target Harry Kane, have had nightmare seasons

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Man Utd defenders Luke Shaw and Harry Maguire, here sandwiching top transfer target Harry Kane, have had nightmare seasonsCredit: Reuters

Can a new coach like Ten Hag transfer that in to games? Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw have had stinkers.

Shaw was probably the best full-back in Europe last season and Maguire’s arrival in summer 2019 coincided immediately with an improvement in defensive displays.

Can you revive and reboot them?

Roy Keane claimed you cannot win a title with Scott McTominay and Fred in midfield but you would certainly want them in your squad.

Elsewhere, Raphael Varane is becoming a bit of an Alexis Sanchez.

Big name, big money but not big performances and while Maguire plays through injury, Varane is too often sidelined.

It was interesting to hear Rangnick’s comments about why so many players are injured at United compared to Liverpool, who are firing on all fronts as they chase a historic Quadruple.

Does that pull or strain maybe hurt a bit more when a team is suffering and the sidelines can be a refuge?

Ronaldo is another big question Ten Hag needs to answer.

While his arrival seemed to unsettle the set-up and plans Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had for the season, his goals return cannot be questioned.

Ajax chief Erik ten Hag will face a monumental rebuilding job when he takes over at Old Trafford

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Ajax chief Erik ten Hag will face a monumental rebuilding job when he takes over at Old TraffordCredit: Getty
Chelsea centre-back Antonio Rudiger is an obvious option for the Red Devils

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Chelsea centre-back Antonio Rudiger is an obvious option for the Red DevilsCredit: Getty

Some like Pogba, Edinson Cavani and Lingard are just off, so there is nothing to decide. Others must be shown the exit.

Ten Hag will know his fellow Dutchman Donny van de Beek well but he simply cannot play in the Premier League — as Everton are now also finding out during his loan spell there.

Anthony Martial will be lucky to find another club after his downturn at United has been followed by a horror spell on loan at Sevilla.

And what on earth happened to Eric Bailly? So many players brought in, so much disappointment, so many bad buys.

For Sir Alex Ferguson, talent was only half of it when he was looking for a player.

He wanted a deep-dive into their character before he made a decision.

Would he ever have signed Sanchez, Romelu Lukaku, Angel Di Maria or Pogba, who he had already got rid of once?

United are looking at spending another £350million to put together a new team — and that is with a couple of free transfers.

Too many players bought over the last nine years since Fergie retired have not had the character to succeed at Old Trafford.

So few leaders, so many willing to hide and hang the manager out to dry.

United are looking at spending another £350million to put together a new team — and that is with a couple of free transfers.

Spurs’ Harry Kane is an obvious strike target, as well as Declan Rice at West Ham to bolster the midfield, along with Wolves’ Ruben Neves.

RB Leipzig’s Christopher Nkunku is certainly one Rangnick will have put on the board’s radar.

He has 17 goals and 13 assists playing across the front line this season.

At the back, United could pick up a couple of great frees in Antonio Rudiger from Chelsea, whose contract is running down, and Ten Hag’s own Noussair ­Mazraoui at Ajax.

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Presnel Kimpembe from Paris Saint-Germain at centre-back is also a possibility at £36million.

This rebuild is a huge responsibility, or more years in the wilderness will follow.

You can only wish Ten Hag good luck.





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