Man Utd have spent more than they planned to under Erik ten Hag

Man Utd's next six Premier League fixtures

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Manchester United have already spent more in the transfer market than they initially planned to at this stage of Erik ten Hag’s reign. The Red Devils have once again been linked with a move for Jude Bellingham and Frenkie de Jong but may be unable to properly pursue their interest given their previous expenditure. 

United spent big over the summer as Ten Hag looked to stamp his own style on the squad that had underperformed in recent years. The Red Devils parted with around £210million to bring six fresh faces to Old Trafford with Tyrell Malacia, Christian Eriksen, Lisandro Martinez, Casemiro, Antony and Martin Dubrvaka all making the move to the north-west. 

The club are likely to be active in the transfer market again over January with a new striker top of the wanted list given the need to replace Cristiano Ronaldo. Recent reports have suggested that the club could make another pitch for both De Jong and Bellingham in the coming transfer windows as Ten Hag looks to add to his midfield. 

However, the Manchester Evening News believes the club’s interest in the midfield duo may have to remain a dream for now given the club’s recent expenditure. They have already paid out more than they planned to in transfer fees at this stage in the Dutchman’s tenure and as such finances are expected to be more limited during the upcoming transfer windows.

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Both De Jong and Bellingham are likely to come with sizeable transfer fees, the Red Devils reportedly had a bid of around £64m accepted for the Dutch international during the summer before he decided to remain at the Camp Nou. The Borussia Dortmund star’s pricetag is even higher, with the Bundesliga side unlikely to accept anything under £100m. 

The transfer fees are not the only hurdle United would have to overcome to attract either player to the club. Liverpool are heavy favourites to complete the signing of Bellingham while De Jong has previously rejected a move to United in the past. Furthermore, the 25-year-old has insisted he would like to remain at Barcelona for the next decade as he relishes the chance to represent the Spanish giants. 

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“I am very happy in Barcelona,” De Jong told De Telegraaf during the World Cup. “When I play, it’s great, and in terms of living there, life is perfect. I see myself at Barcelona for as long as possible. I would personally hope for another eight or 10 years.”

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