United boss Erik ten Hag says United are back where they belong, but the Dutchman believes they need to step up this summer to make the progress he has demanded.
Ten Hager agrees with Wenger’s old assessment that a place in Europe’s elite club competition is tantamount to winning trophies.
However, he is not one to rest on his laurels and is already eyeing the transfer window as he tries to close the gap on FA Cup final rivals and Premier League champions Manchester City.
“This club belongs to the Champions League,” Ten Witches said.
“To be in the top four is the main objective. The competition is tough and there are a lot of teams with really good squads, good managers and big budgets.
“At the moment that’s the ceiling but we want more and I don’t have much patience. The standards have to rise. City are playing fantastic football but we have a long way to go.”
Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville said “the club needs to invest” in order to progress further, and the Ten Witches echoed similar sentiments, adding: “In the summer we can work with the squad we have but we need to strengthen. “
“You’re not going to get taller in this group”
United have been heavily linked with a move for Chelsea’s England midfielder Mason Mount in recent days, while Tottenham’s Harry Kane would be among the club’s priorities to fill the nines if Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy says he is willing to sell. An obvious choice of numbers.
United are known to be looking for an experienced midfielder and things could change at Old Trafford this summer if the club can prove they are better at selling players than they have been in previous summers.
Against this is the backdrop of ownership uncertainty.
Rennes, which is handling a potential sale of the club, is continuing to work towards a resolution after the Glazers announced in November that they were considering a sale.
Although representatives of the two leading bidders, Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani of Qatar and Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s INEOS, have privately said they are still unclear when the process will take place. to its conclusion.
Former Manchester United captain Neville has long been a critic of the club’s current ownership, arguing that changes must be made at his old club in order to challenge Manchester City.
“Eric ten Hag has achieved his greatest success with this team,” Neville told Sky Sports.
“He needs an investment because I don’t think you get higher in this team. That’s their limit. They’re certainly not going to be a title challenge.
“The manager has shown he can handle the size of the club. Now it’s about getting a new club and making progress on and off the pitch. Because they’ve been away for 10 years, it’s a long way from now.”
Former Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp believes Kane is an obvious target for the Old Trafford club.
“If Manchester United want to play next season they need to look for a top striker and Martial is not the answer,” he said. “If they want to challenge seriously, they need Victor Osimhen from Napoli or Harry Kane.
“Tottenham are in a mess, it feels like if you’re Harry Kane, you’ve got a year left on your contract and it’s time to go. He missed the chance for Manchester City [last summer] This is when he needs a push. Tottenham is like a social experiment in how far you can push your fans. He deserves better. “
Lampard’s praise for Ten Witches
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard, recovering from his eighth defeat in 10 games in charge, believes the work Ten Hag did immediately after taking over at Manchester United was key as the manager imposes his authority on up the club.
That included dealing with issues around Cristiano Ronaldo and his refusal to stay and watch team-mates after being substituted at half-time in his first pre-season game – and then refusing to come off the bench in a Premier League game against Tottenham in October
“There has to be a basis,” Lampard said. “There has to be fundamentals.
“I remember when Ten Hag first came and people were talking about discipline and fines, the Ronaldo situation and setting standards. Those are the positive things this club has turned around.”
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