Ten Hag is still yet to make his first signing as Manchester United manager, despite the Red Devils returning for pre-season training on Monday amid their dire need for an overhaul
Erik ten Hag has been blasted for failing to make a move for Kalvin Phillips, who is expected to complete a transfer to Manchester City.
Phillips has become a key player for Leeds United since graduating from their academy, earning him a place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad. His performances at Elland Road and with the Three Lions have seen him branded as one of the best midfielders in the Premier League.
And he is now set to link up with Pep Guardiola ‘s Premier League champions, further strengthening the Spaniard’s squad. It is a move that stands in stark contrast to United’s summer business, with Ten Hag still yet to make a signing.
That is despite 11 players having left Old Trafford at the end of last season, with upgrades in midfield particularly badly needed. Phillips would appear to be the perfect target for the Red Devils, but he is a player they have now missed out on.
And Ten Hag’s failure to push to sign the 26-year-old has now been blasted by former Chelsea star Tony Cascarino. He believes that United will come to see Phillips as a “huge miss” in their transfer strategy.
“I don’t know why Man United have not made a move for Kalvin Phillips. They might say that they tried to and he’d already decided that he was going to City, but he’s exactly what Man United need,” he told talkSPORT.
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“He might not have wanted to go there, that might be the reason, but there seemingly wasn’t any competition from a club who sorely need that type of player. It’s a huge miss in their team, a ball-winning player who can keep it and let other players do their thing and he does that as well as anybody.
“We’ve seen Bissouma go to Tottenham for a relatively low fee at £20-25m. Okay, he had a year left on his contract so it’s a different circumstance but players without great numbers in terms of goals and assists, their fees aren’t quite as big.
“The only one is Declan Rice. Rice doesn’t have great stats in goals and assists, but everyone can watch him and see his disruption of teams and how he affects their performance. I think that Kalvin Phillips does that, but he’s gone to a side who had the best holding midfield player in the country in Rodri, who was above Declan Rice.”
City will pay Leeds an initial fee of £42million in exchange for Phillips, with a further £3m coming through potential bonuses.
The Premier League champions will also send young starlet Darko Gyabi to Elland Road permanently, with Guardiola securing his top target to replace Fernandinho.
Ten Hag meanwhile is still attempting to secure his first signing as United boss as he looks to rebuild the Red Devils. The Dutchman is hoping to bring in Christian Eriksen and Frenkie de Jong, though both deals are progressing slowly.