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How Erik ten Hag could line up at Man Utd with ‘excited’ Cristiano Ronaldo up front | Football | Sport

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Manchester United could have a really different set-up going into next season with Erik ten Hag on the helm. One constant, though, will likely be the prowess of Cristiano Ronaldo up top.

Even without Champions League football at United next yr, it seems that Ronaldo is here to remain. That will likely be a serious boost for Ten Hag, who knows that a source of goals is paramount to any kind of assault on the highest 4 next season.

The Dutchman is about to affix as manager at the tip of the season to interchange the interim Ralf Rangnick and can have loads of ideas going into the transfer window. There are several areas of the squad that need immediate attention.

One among them stays up front where Edinson Cavani’s impending departure will leave Ronaldo because the only striker. And while there was speculation over the Portuguese star’s own future, he has dampened talk of an exit by insisting he’s looking forward to playing under Ten Hag.

He told United’s Spanish website: “I do know that he has done a implausible job at Ajax and that he’s an experienced coach, but we’ve to offer him time. Things must change the best way he wants. If he does well, all of Manchester United will likely be successful, so I wish him well. We’re all comfortable and excited [about his arrival], not only as players but as fans as well. Now we have to imagine that next yr we will win titles.”

So with the striker position seemingly wrapped up, it could be smart to have a look at the opposite positions – namely in midfield – which is able to need bolstering. Frenkie de Jong has been heavily linked with the Barcelona star knowing Ten Hag well.

Rangnick has told United chiefs that they should sign midfielders with more energy in and RB Leipzig star Amadou Haidara was certainly one of the primary names he pinpointed to his Old Trafford bosses back in January. A raid could still go ahead with the German coach working behind the scenes.

In defence, it has been a season to forget for a lot of while Harry Maguire might find himself on the skin as Aaron Wan-Bissaka looks more likely to leave in the summertime. It signifies that a right-back and a centre-back can have to be brought in.

Villarreal’s Pau Torres appears to be the highest goal while his left-footed ability makes it easier for United to play out from the back while one other raid on RB Leipzig could also go ahead. Nordi Mukiele is a forward-thinking, swashbuckling right-back that will add pace and width in attack while also potentially costing just £8.5million.

Probably the most pressing issues for Ten Hag, though, will likely be what to do with Marcus Rashford. The forward has been potentially leaving this summer if he cannot get the first-team football that he needs nevertheless it is feasible that the Ajax coach could unlock the Englishman’s potential next season and partner him with Ronaldo up front.

United potential XI: De Gea; Mukiele, Varane, Torres, Shaw; Haidara, De Jong, Fernandes; Sancho, Ronaldo, Rashford.

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