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Manchester United

'We had to do this' - Ten Hag reveals how Manchester United transfer plans changed

16:33 GMT+3 30/08/2022
Erik ten Hag
Erik ten Hag has confirmed Manchester United were forced to change their transfer plans this summer after the Dutchman's £227 million overhaul.
  • United were forced to spend big after disastrous start
  • Pressure on the Glazers to provide record funds in one window
  • Ten Hag responds to added expectation after mega summer spree

WHAT HAPPENED? Ten Hag admitted "adaptations" had to be made to United's budget in the face of Ajax's insistence on driving up the prices of £81m Antony and £47.5m Lisandro Martinez.

The club also paid £60m for Casemiro, while Tyrell Malacia cost £13m.

There are add-ons attached to all four signings, which would take the over all spend to around £227m, while Martin Dubravka is set to cost a further £5m on loan.

WHAT THEY SAID: "There was always money," said Ten Hag. "They made adaptations because of how the market was and I think the club did that well. You never know how things go, if you are earlier or later. It’s a process. First, we really quickly identified the positions we wanted and then identified the players we wanted."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: United's transfer plans have fluctuated wildly this summer. Frenkie de Jong was the priority target - but focus then quickly shifted to Casemiro.

In the face of growing supporter unrest after back-to-back defeats at the start of the season - and pressure on the Glazer family to sell - it is notable that moves for budget options, Marko Arnautovic and Adrien Rabiot were scrapped, with Antony and Casemiro costing a combined £141m.

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR UNITED? The ownership remains a critical question and supporter groups plan to continue protests even after such a huge outlay, with some fans suspicious of the Glazers' motives.

Meanwhile, there will be added pressure on Ten Hag to deliver after being handed a club record figure to kick off his revolution.

He said: "If you want to compete at the top, you don’t have a choice. All the clubs spent this kind of money. If you want to fight for the top four positions you have to do it. We have the ambition, especially in the long term, to play for trophies. We had to do this."