Football Features

Manchester United transfer odds: Bookmakers’ favourites to join Erik ten Hag’s ’10-signing revolution’

By Ben Green

Published: 16:00, 22 April 2022

After months of speculation, Erik ten Hag has finally been announced the new permanent manager of Manchester United.

The current Ajax boss will leave Amsterdam at the end of the season and succeed Ralf Rangnick, who has taken the Old Trafford reins on a temporary basis since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was relieved of his duties back in November.

Untested in a top-five European league, Ten Hag will be walking into a cauldron of uncertainty and unrest in the North West. So, despite his glittering Ajax CV and a seemingly idealistic tactical blueprint, there remains a shred of doubt about his capacity to elevate this Man Utd side.

“It’s embarrassing, it’s disappointing, maybe even humiliating,” Rangnick lamented following Man Utd’s second 2021/22 capitulation to Liverpool on Tuesday night, losing 4-0 in an utterly abysmal showing, which also provoked Gary Neville to describe this current squad as “a waste of space”. 

Man United odds (2022-23 season)  Sky Bet
Premier League winner 22/1
Finish in the top four 1/1
Top half finish 1/10
Bottom half finish 11/2
Relegation 500/1
You have to be 18+ to gamble. UK only. All odds in the table above are accurate at the time of writing (07:45, 07/05/2022). BeGambleAware.

Such is the worrying state of Man United’s squad that Rangnick believes an almighty rebuild is required, going as far as to suggest that just one player is safe in the current starting XI. “For me, it is clear there will be six, seven, eight, maybe ten new players,” he explained. So, it looks like Ten Hag could be busy this summer.

With that, we looked at the bookmaker’s favourites to join Man United before the summer window shuts. Major surgery is required ahead of 2022/23, and Ten Hag is a man who is completely in tune with his playing philosophy, so Carrington could have a very Shibuya Crossing feel to it soon…

All odds in this article are for the summer transfer window and accurate at time of publication (12:00, 22/04/22). You must be 18+ to gamble. For more information, visit Be Gamble Aware.

Darwin Nunez (Benfica)

Sky Bet Paddy Power Betfair
2/1

It makes perfect sense why Ten Hag would be interested in Nunez. The Uruguayan sharpshooter is hot property at the minute and seemingly coveted by every elite European club worth their salt, but Ten Hag has had the pleasure, or displeasure, of being able to see him up close.

Despite dominating Benfica in their Champions League last-16 second leg, Ajax exited the competition after Nunez scored his side’s only shot on goal in the entire match. That instinctive knack of finding the back of the net, combined with his all-round attacking ability would seriously enhance United’s frontline.

Luis Suarez once implored Barcelona to sign his youthful compatriot, revealing in a Twitch stream interview with Gerard Romero: “I recommended Darwin to Barcelona when he was at Almeria.

“I know a thing or two about forwards and I told them, ‘pay attention to this one, he’s very good, he shows interesting things’.

“They told me he was at Almeria and that he was too young. But instead of paying now €80 million, €90m or €100m, they would’ve paid €15m or €20m.”

Liverpool also got a taste of his menacing penalty-box presence in the Champions League quarter-finals. A brains-and-brawn No. 9 who can hold the ball up, bring others into play and roughhouse centre-backs. What more could you want?

Kalvin Phillips (Leeds)

Sky Bet Paddy Power Betfair
9/4

With Nemanja Matic recently announcing his decision to leave Old Trafford this summer, and with Paul Pogba seemingly having one foot out of the door already, Man United will be in desperate need of a midfield adrenaline shot when Ten Hag arrives, and Kalvin Phillips has been tipped to pitch up with him.

The hard-nosed Yorkshireman was a pillar of consistency under Marcelo Bielsa at Elland Road, establishing himself as an England regular and one of the Premier League’s most combative and industrious sitting playmakers. His dynamism and tempo-setting exploits could be just what the doctor ordered for Man Utd.

Ten Hag is a manager wedded to Cruyffian principles of ball circulation and ball retention, epitomised by Frenkie de Jong, Lasse Schone and Donny van de Beek in Ajax’s famous Champions League semi-final run. Phillips certainly fits the brief of a player who can dominate the ball, but with the added bonus of a real physical presence.

Declan Rice (West Ham)

Sky Bet Paddy Power Betfair
3/1 4/1 4/1

Perhaps even more fitting in that regard would be Declan Rice. West Ham, and more specifically David Moyes, have already tried their best to bat away claims that their prized asset could be on the move this summer, saying it would take a nine-figure sum to prise him away. But Man Utd are a club with very deep pockets.

The 23-year-old would walk into any side in the world and has largely been responsible for West Ham’s rise into Europe and recent Europa League semi-final run, where a showdown with Frankfurt awaits. Moyes has several influential chess pieces, but none more so than Rice, his ‘modern queen’ if you will.

It’s the type of marquee signing that would really whet the appetite of fans and could prove game-changing on the pitch, and not just from a marketing perspective. Man United have fallen foul and been accused of making signings on a whim and putting ‘business’ ahead of football in recent seasons, but a transfer of Rice’s ilk would point to a more well-thought-out, strategic approach.

Youri Tielemans (Leicester)

Sky Bet Paddy Power Betfair
3/1

It’s clear where Man United’s priorities lie, or should lie, this summer. Few trust the double-pivot of Fred and Scott McTominay, which doesn’t exactly scream Roy Keane and Paul Scholes. The signing of Youri Tielemans, therefore, makes sense in some capacity.

Neat and nimble on the ball, hard working and bags of Premier League and international experience, Tielemans has been Leicester’s midfield catalyst in recent seasons and enters the final year of his contract this summer. Domestic signings tend to come at a premium, but the Foxes may be tempted to cash in, rather than risk losing a player of Tielemans’ quality on a free transfer next year.

Such a scenario leaves Leicester potentially ripe for poachers, and Man United will probably be sniffing around the East Midlands if it’s an elegant playmaker they’re after.

Antonio Rudiger (Chelsea)

Sky Bet Paddy Power Betfair
4/1

Antonio Rudiger is as mad as a hatter, but that just adds to his appeal. The German centre-back is old-school in the extreme when it comes to his defensive work, but his ball-playing credentials are certainly not to be sniffed at. A refined, well-rounded approach to defending, coupled with his passion, many facial expressions and communication (mainly shouting at anyone within an earshot), Rudiger would be a defensive difference-maker.

The 29-year-old will see his current contract at Stamford Bridge expire at the end of the season, and while he has been heavily linked with moves to Juventus and Real Madrid, Man United are actually one of the front-runners to secure his signature. It would be a huge statement of Man Utd’s intent if they could pull it off.


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Harry Kane (Tottenham)

Sky Bet Paddy Power Betfair
9/2 13/2 13/2

By all accounts Kane is happy under Antonio Conte and Manchester City will not be pursuing his signature this summer after turning their attention to Erling Haaland. However, the suggestion is that Kane has his heart set on staying in the Premier League to potentially catch Alan Shearer in the all-time scoring charts. He is currently fifth on 178, with Shearer on 208.

So, if transfer speculation reignites this summer, Man United could be a very appealing option for Kane. Tottenham are not guaranteed Champions League football after Arsenal thumped Chelsea in midweek and caught up with them, so he may find a move to Old Trafford very tempting if Conte’s men miss out on Europe’s premier tournament. Despite Man United’s recent nosedive and the fact they themselves may also finish outside the top four, the status of playing for them remains unparalleled.

Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona)

Sky Bet Paddy Power Betfair
5/1

Barcelona have reportedly offered fresh terms but have so far been unsuccessful in negotiating a contract extension with Ousmane Dembele, so the mercurial French winger looks destined to leave the Camp Nou this summer. Despite his injury problems, Dembele remains only 24, with time very much on his side, and as he has proven on numerous occasions this season, he is still an absolute menace when he plays. He will no doubt demand a hefty wage package, but without a transfer fee, Man United may feel he would be a better avenue to explore rather than risk splurging excessively on, say, another Jadon Sancho type.

Richarlison (Everton)

Sky Bet Paddy Power Betfair
5/1

A deal that could very much depend on whether Everton remain in the division or not. As a regular starter for Brazil, Richarlison may feel he is a level above mid-table mediocrity and the occasional relegation battle, and he’d probably be right. Creative, slick on the ball and unpredictable, Richarlison is an archetypal Brazilian forward, able to dazzle and transfix terraces in the blink of an eye. His aggressive yet suave playing style would offer Ten Hag something a little bit different, and let’s face it, the Dutchman loves a Brazilian wide man (e.g. David Neres and Antony).

Sebastian Haller (Ajax)

Sky Bet Paddy Power Betfair
6/1

Sebastian Haller has played like a man possessed since trading West Ham for Ajax. He was pretty shoddy for the Hammers during his brief stint in the Premier League, but Ten Hag appears to know what makes him tick and has certainly taped into his potential. A goalscoring fiend under his watch, Haller would be a devastating force for Man United if he can translate his scoring antics in the Eredivisie to the Premier League.

Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund)

Sky Bet Paddy Power Betfair
12/1

Things haven’t exactly worked out (yet) the last time Man United plundered the Ruhr Valley, but in Jude Bellingham Borussia Dortmund have a generational talent, one whose still tender years belie a maturity and unwavering composure in possession. Bellingham represents signing that could prove power-shifting, that’s how good he is, or certainly how good he has been for BVB. A midfield fulcrum and precocious leader, Bellingham would thrive under the paternalistic tutelage of Ten Hag, who has blooded in and rapidly developed the career of fellow baby-faced midfield maestro Ryan Gravenberch.

How Man Utd could line up

Most of the players linked to Man Utd are either in midfield or attack, so it would be impossible to shoehorn the above 10 into one formation without going all Football Manager on it. Rangnick first mentioned that “six” players would be needed, at least, for Man Utd, so we’ve picked the top six (based on the shortest odds above) and tried to come up with a formation that could see them all fit in, with a system Ten Hag regularly uses at Ajax…

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