Man Utd 'well-placed' to sign star they bid £70m for in 2022 as efforts 'stepped up' for Newcastle man

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Your round-up of the latest Manchester United headlines as Erik ten Hag prepares to face Luton Town this weekend.

Manchester United are officially on their best run of form this season after beating Aston Villa 2-1 on Sunday. Scott McTominay was the hero at Villa Park, handing United their fourth straight win and Erik ten Hag will hope to make it five at Luton Town this weekend.

Off the pitch, Sir Jim Ratcliffe saw his investment in the club approved by the Premier League on Tuesday, with full confirmation of his arrival expected later this month. In the meantime, ManchesterWorld has rounded up some of the latest headlines coming out of Old Trafford.

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De Jong latest

United could be handed the chance to finally sign a long-term target this summer with reports suggesting they are 'well-placed' to make a move for Frenkie de Jong. Football Insider reports that Barcelona could be open to selling their midfielder this summer in a bid to raise funds.

De Jong was United's main transfer target during Ten Hag's first summer as manager in 2022 and Barcelona are thought to have accepted a bid worth £70million for the Dutchman. But a dispute over deferred wages and the subsequent delay forced the Reds to move on, eventually spending that money on Casemiro.

Links between United and De Jong have remained for the two years since and Ten Hag could finally get his man, with Barcelona needing to sell key players in order to fund a wider rebuild of the squad. Central midfield remains a key area to strengthen at Old Trafford.

Ashworth pursuit

Ratcliffe's imminent arrival in an official sense should kick United's plans into gear and reports suggest they are ready to 'push ahead' with their pursuit of Dan Ashworth. HITC reports that Newcastle's sporting director is top of the list to replace John Murtough.

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INEOS director of sport sir Dave Brailsford is overseeing the appointment of a new sporting director and is already close with Ashworth, having built a relationship over several years. Both Brailsford and Ratcliffe are said to be huge fans of the Magpies recruitment chief, seeing him as the next statement appointment.

United have already poached Omar Berrada from Manchester City to take over as chief executive. Newcastle want to keep Ashworth but are thought to understand the lure of working for United.

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