Sir Jim Ratcliffe 'very keen' to give Erik ten Hag his £170m transfer wish as past targets eyed

There is growing optimism around Manchester United following confirmation of Sir Jim Ratcliffe's investment.

Manchester United could return for two of Erik ten Hag's major past targets with reports suggesting they remain 'very keen' on Frenkie de Jong and Harry Kane.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe is already putting plans in place for a summer of major investment and could return for the pair in order to give Ten Hag his transfer wish. The United manager prioritised moves for De Jong and Kane in the summers of 2022 and 2023 respectively but was unable to land his major target on either occasion.

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United had a £70million bid accepted for De Jong in July 2022 but were eventually forced to move on, following a lengthy delay over deferred wages that were not yet paid to the midfielder by Barcelona. Ten Hag then made Kane his 2023 priority but there was concern inside the club that Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy would not do business with a Premier League rival. Kane eventually joined Bayern Munich in a deal worth around £100m.

But with the growing optimism around United, fuelled further by Tuesday's confirmation that Ratcliffe is now a minority shareholder in the club, Football Transfers reports that interest in the pair could be reignited. There is hope that a top-four finish - deemed unlikely until their recent form - and subsequent Champions League football could see some of Europe's biggest names become open to joining the exciting new project.

Kane was open to joining United last summer and has not ruled out a return to the Premier League in the future. He only joined Bayern last summer but the German club could look to cash in on some high earners in order to fund a rebuild, particularly given reports on Wednesday suggest manager Thomas Tuchel will leave in the summer.

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Similarly, Barcelona will likely need to offload some of their big-money players after seeing their salary cap reduced from £231m to £175m earlier this week. De Jong has long been linked with a move away and would command a significant fee, which would be of use for the Catalan club.

Despite spending heavily on alternative options both in 2022 and 2023, United remain keen to strengthen in midfield and upfront this summer. Ten Hag is thought to want a more experienced No.9 who can help aid the development of Rasmus Hojlund, while there are concerns regarding the longevity of current midfield options.

Christian Eriksen turned 32 last week and Casemiro will soon do the same, with the possibility of both leaving this summer very real. Mason Mount, signed from Chelsea for £60m last summer, has been injured for large parts of the campaign and unable to stamp his mark on the club.

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