ERIK TEN Hag is planning a near £200MILLION double whammy to land Jude Bellingham AND Frenkie de Jong next summer.
And having failed repeatedly to sign de Jong from Barcelona when he took over at Old Trafford in July, he will once more try to persuade his fellow countryman to switch to the Premier League.
The Dutchman has already spent almost £230m in bringing in new talent as part of his re-building master plan.
Lisandro Martinez, who will today join his Argentinian team-mates in going for World Cup glory, arrived along with Christian Eriksen, Antony, Tyrell Malacia and Casemiro.
Next up, Ten Hag hopes, will be a replacement in next month’s transfer window for Cristiano Ronaldo, sacked in disgrace over his infamous “no respect” TV interview with Piers Morgan.
Benfica striker Goncalo Ramos and PSV Eindhoven winger Cody Gapko are high on his January shopping list.
Yet ten Hag knows he needs to bring in yet more star quality if he is to transform the fortunes of the club that has not won the Prem title since Sir Alex Ferguson’s sign – off year of 2013.
He is understood to believe that Bellingham can be persuaded to join what he believes will be one of the world’s most exciting and spectacular makeovers.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp believes he is in a good position to capture the 19-year-old who made himself the midfield icon of the Three Lions heroic but doomed World Cup bid.
Real Madrid see themselves in pole position to grab the former Birmingham City star.
But ten Hag – who has been told that either a sell–out by owners the Glazers or new investment will considerably add to his transfer war chest, is thought to be insistent that United get into an expected £130m fight for the Brummie.
De Jong, who could cost at least £60m, remains at the Nou Camp after refusing to leave for United amidst a war over £17m he says is owned to him over unpaid wages.
Before the World Cup campaign with Holland, he stressed that he still sees himself at Barca for several years.
Yet ten Hag, who helped bring him through at Ajax, is understood to believe he can yet lure the 25-year-old to Old Trafford.
Ten Hag’s spending plans are likely to come at a cost for some stars already at his club.
Last week he made clear that while he was impressed by Harry Maguire’s performances in Qatar, he will still have to fight for his place.
The £85m centre half starts back tomorrow after England duty tomorrow along with the rest of United’s World Cup contingent aside from Martinez and Raphael Varane, who will be going head to head in today’s final.
United could be prepared to take a £40m hit on the world’s most expensive defender – signed from Leicester City in 2019 – if he decides he cannot make himself a regular.
Outcast £50m right back Aaron Wan-Bissaka is wanted by Wolves on loan next month and having also arrived in 2019 from Crystal Palace he looks certain to leave for good next summer.
Left back Brandon Williams and midfielder Fred could also be sold to raise cash for ten Hag’s mega project.
And now that Ronaldo has gone the Theatre of Dreams manager has the superstar’s £490,000 weekly wage to play with in negotiations after his summary dismissal last month.
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