•Ten Hag has his work cut out during the next two months to fix most of the problems at United
•Manchester City want Leeds' Philips to replace outgoing club captain Fernandinho
•Juventus have contacted Arsenal to put forward a bid to sign defender Gabriel Magalhaes
United we stand, divided we fall
Erik Ten Hag says he has a “huge” plan to make Manchester United successful again. He is already aware of the problems within the Manchester United dressing room.
Some players never trusted, listened to, or even respected interim manager Ralf Rangnick and tended to ignore his advice.
I have learned that when Rashford and Lingard were teamed together for one match they were given no instructions, game plan or positional play.
An insider at the club said, “They didn’t have a clue what they were doing and it wasn’t their fault.”
Many players found Anthony Elanga’s regular match appearances and time on the pitch as baffling given his junior status.
My understanding is that Ten Hag intends to completely overhaul his defence and there are several players he does not want including Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Crystal Palace are hoping to re-sign him. Cristiano Ronaldo held the dressing room together during Solskjaer’s final weeks in charge but everyone turned on Harry Maguire, blaming him for a series of defeats.
Senior players held a crisis meeting between themselves in February and Harry wasn’t even invited.
Several players also turned on Bruno Fernandes because he wastes the ball too often and Eric Bailly openly criticised the club for playing Maguire when he clearly “wasn’t good enough.”
Many players feel that Jesse Lingard’s spectacular success at West Ham, whilst on loan last season, highlighted what they could also be achieving with another team and several are still looking toleave if Ten Hag does not impress them.
As for Alex Ferguson, who sits in the directors’ VIP leather seats, each with a plaque that carries his name, he must be searching for answers as to what has become of his all-conquering United team and finishing sixth with the club’s lowest ever Premier League points total.
Ten Hag has his work cut out during the next two months to fix most of the problems at United and the challenge will be a severe test of his ability.
United have confirmed that with the exception of Edinson Cavani, who is returning to South America, ten of the players who started against Crystal Palace and watched by Ten Hag will be staying at the club, they are: David de Gea, Diogo Dalot, Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, Alex Telles, Fred, Scott McTominay, Hannibal Mejbri, Bruno Fernandes and Anthony Elanga.
The new coach will be assessing everyone else over the coming weeks.
City chase Leeds star player
Leeds could be in for quite a fight to keep Kalvin Phillips despite avoiding relegation.
Manchester City want him to replace outgoing club captain Fernandinho. The Brazilian was at the Etihad Stadium for nine years.
Phillips is basically a holding midfielder however I have learned from Manchester that Pep Guardiola could use him on the right hand side of Rodri.
Julian Alvarez, a forward, is joining from Argentine club River Plate.
Gabriel Jesus has still to make up his mind about staying with City and Arsenal and Tottenham are both watching the situation.
There will be no such ambiguity regarding City’s “Player of the Year” Kevin De Bruyne who has three years left on his contract and said after their title win last weekend, “This is where I want to be. They are my family. This team deserves so much credit. It’s time to celebrate.”
Carvalho joins Liverpool
I suppose money always talks but I was surprised that Fulham finally gave way and agreed to let Fabio Carvalho go to Liverpool.
Admittedly his current contract ending this summer was a decisive factor and Fabio could have left for nothing.
The Reds almost signed the midfielder in January but they just missed the last-day deadline.
The clubs agreed a deal worth £7.2million. He scored 10 goals in 36 matches and made eight assists during the 2021/2 season.
Well done to Son and Mo
I am truly delighted that Son Heung-min has shared the Golden Boot award with Mo Salah for2021/22.
Son is one of the nicest people you could ever wish to meet and his commitment to Spurs and the joyous way he plays speaks volumes about his character.
Son almost won outright before Mo scored with only six minutes remaining in the final match against Wolves.
Coach Antonio Conte commented on the Spurs players being delighted for Sonny, "It means that there is a great atmosphere in the dressing room. It means the players are really good people, not only good players. We were good to match today these two targets, to get a place in the Champions League and for Sonny to win the Golden Boot.”
All the players celebrated with Son and especially Harry Kane who was clearly delighted for his striking partner.
Harry won the award last season.
Juventus hunting Arsenal star
Juventus have contacted Arsenal to put forward a bid to sign defender Gabriel Magalhaes.
Italy’s biggest club say goodbye this summer to veteran Georgio Chiellini and believeMagalhaes is the perfect replacement.
The Gunners will double their money if they agree to the transfer and pocket nearly £50million.
Arsenal can recall William Saliba to the Emirates to replace Magalhaes from French club Marseille.
Saliba however has made it clear he is happy to stay in France and the Gunners will have to persuade him that a return would benefit his career.
Juventus are looking to rebuild this summer and have already talked with Paul Pogba’s representatives about joining them for free with a signing-on fee and around £200k a year.
Pogba’s United contract expires next month.
Sterling attracting attention in Madrid
Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling believes he has not had his fair share of playing time this year.
He is now entering the final 12 months of his £350k-a-week contract and is showing interest in an early approach by Real Madrid.
The 27-year-old has never made a secret of his desire to play for a top European club outside the Premier League.
Real were beaten by Manchester City in the race to sign Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe is staying with Paris Saint-Germain.
The thinking in Madrid is that Raheem could be the answer.
Conte takes over transfer policy at Tottenham
When you are a successful manager with a strong personality it is always possible to get what you want from your football club.
Antonio Conte is such a coach but at Tottenham it has always been club chairman Daniel Levy who called the shots and he has always controlled the financial side of the Tottenham business with an iron fist.
Now, in a complete turnaround, he has realized that the only way to keep his talented coach is to give him what he wants.
In response, Levy has made £150million available for Conte to strengthen his squad and give him control of incoming players.
In other words, Conte now controls the transfer policy. Conte had made it clear that he would walk away this summer if the club did not match his ambitions but the £150million might not be enough to satisfy his wish list of players now he has taken Tottenham into Champions League football next season.
Conte has approved the permanent signings of Dejan Kulusevski and Cristian Romero who have been on loan to Spurs and this will cost £67.5million.
Conte also wants another six signings this summer including Inter Milan’s Alessandro Bastoni, who plays on the left side as a center-back and is valued at £54million.
Conte is currently taking a holiday in Italy where he is meeting up with Tottenham managing director Fabio Paratici to discuss tactics and players.
Club owner billionaire Joe Lewis and Levy have loaned Tottenham money necessary for the transfers through their company ECIS Sports so it is available immediately instead of waiting for bank approval.
Conte is taking his team to South Korea for a summer pre-season tour and will play Spanish side Sevilla in Suwon on July 16th.
At last, Chelsea are able to deal in the transfer market
Thomas Tuchel will receive £200million from Chelsea’s new owners to spend on players this summer now that the £4.25billion club takeover has been approved by the British government.
The past three months, since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, has seen the club curtailed in any transfer dealings because of sanctions against Roman Abramovich and his close links to Russian President Putin.
Because the club were not allowed to renegotiate expiring player contracts they have already lost Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen.
However, the club is now able to offer new contracts to Mason Mount and Reece James.
One player expecting to do well under Ten Hag
One player expecting to revive his career under Ten Hag at Manchester United is Donny Van De Beek.
He became one of Europe’s most exciting young midfielders under Ten Hag at Ajax and was an important member of the team which reached the 2018/19 Champions League semi-final.
Since being transferred from Ajax, which was a disappointment for Ten Hag, Donny’s career has gone into reverse.
He was sent out on loan to Everton in January after playing only 380 minutes in 2021.
Ten Hag will bring Donny back from Everton because there is no transfer option in his loan contract and he said, “We had a fantastic squad at Ajax and Donny was an important part of that. I had a very good relationship with him and of course, I am looking forward to meeting him again on the pitch.”
Ten Hag all smiles at first press conference
At his first press conference, Ten Hag worked hard to quickly build a friendly relationship with the press.
He recognises that we can be his best friends or most severe critics.
Striding into the press conference room at United wearing a smart linen suit, white shirt and with pocket handkerchief, he had a big smile on his face.
Journalists were told to sit at the front and not gather at the back as so often happens and we understood why when he walked around the meeting shaking hands and sharing smiles.
To those at the back, he waved and called “hello”.
United are taking a contingent of journalists on their summer tour of Thailand and Australia in July and supporters will be kept up to date with team progress.
It is clear that United and Ten hag want to finally put an end to a miserable season in 2021/22 with a fresh start for everyone.