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Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag presses Jim Ratcliffe for transfer answers after £175m grudge | Football | Sport

Ten Hag was desperate to sign De Jong from Barcelona in his first summer. United were quoted £75m by the Spanish club and subsequently refused to pay the fee.

The Red Devils boss was reportedly frustrated but moved on from the setback. However, the 54-year-old has seen further top targets fail to arrive at Old Trafford.

Former Tottenham forward Kane was sought last summer but United once again refused to pay the asking price, this time reported to be around £100m. The England captain moved to Bayern Munich where he has scored 28 goals in only 27 appearances across all competitions.

United are wary of falling foul of the Premier League’s profit and sustainability regulations. Top-flight clubs have been rocked after seeing Everton deducted 10 points after the Toffees reported losses of more than the permitted £105m across three seasons.

Concerned over the tighter budgets imposed on United’s recruitment team, Ten Hag will seek assurances that the Red Devils will be competitive in the transfer market under the minority control of INEOS, the Mirror reports.

Ratcliffe’s petrochemicals giant INEOS is set to take control of the sporting department at Old Trafford once the British businessman passes the Premier League’s owners’ and directors’ test. Ratcliffe has seen a bid of £1.4bn for 25 per-cent shares in United accepted by the club’s board.

United have spent heavily during Ten Hag’s reign, even though many of the arrivals were not the manager’s preferred choices. Over £200m was spent in his first summer on the likes of Antony, Casemiro, Lisandro Martinez and Tyrell Malacia.

That outlay forced United into only signing loanees in January 2023, with Wout Weghorst, Marcel Sabitzer and Jack Butland arriving. But another £200m was spent last summer as Mason Mount, Rasmus Hojlund and Andre Onana all joined the club after a successful 2022-23 campaign.

Ten Hag has a contract until 2025 and has refused to comment when asked if he has held discussions with Ratcliffe over an extension. United reportedly harbour an option to extend his deal by an extra year.

The United boss is reportedly admired in the Bundesliga and has a house on the border of Germany. He previously coached Bayern Munich II and could be a candidate to replace Xabi Alonso at Bayer Leverkusen if the Spaniard moves to Liverpool in the summer.

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