Manchester United finally had a productive summer transfer window, after a slow start. Tyrell Malacia, Lisandro Martinez, Christian Eriksen, Casemiro and Antony have all arrived to bolster Erik ten Hag’s ranks. However, the Dutchman failed to land Sergino Dest, Frenkie de Jong and Darwin Nunez – much to his frustration.
It’s an open secret that United wanted to sign De Jong from Barcelona.
They spent the whole summer chasing a deal for the Netherlands international, emboldened by Ten Hag’s positive relationship with his former Ajax midfielder.
But when it became clear United wouldn’t be able to lure the 25-year-old away from the Nou Camp, they then opted to land Casemiro instead.
Ten Hag was also not allowed to land Dest from Barcelona, while Nunez ended up moving to Liverpool from Benfica.
Now Express Sport will take a look at how United would line up had they been able to land all of their top transfer window targets.
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Goalkeeper: De Gea
A constant at United is David De Gea.
The Spain international is the club’s longest-serving player, along with Phil Jones, having been at Old Trafford since joining from Atletico Madrid in 2011.
De Gea has been backed this summer, with United opting to loan out Dean Henderson.
He had a difficult start to the campaign, suffering early defeats against Brentford and Brighton.
Still, the 31-year-old has bounced back to rediscover his mojo, helping United win their last four Premier League games.
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Defenders: Dest, Varane, Martinez, Malacia
Both Martinez and Malacia joined United in the summer, with the pair arriving from Ajax and Feyenoord respectively.
They also started looking like the real deal, drawing comparisons to cult heroes such as Gabriel Heinze and Patrice Evra.
United have seen Diogo Dalot shine this season but, had Ten Hag been successful, Dest would have arrived.
The United States international was tipped to replace Aaron Wan-Bissaka, only for John Murtough to step in and clarify that his current right-back would not be allowed to leave.
Dest has since joined AC Milan on loan, with the 21-year-old featuring in his side’s 1-1 draw against Red Bull Salzburg on Tuesday night.
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Midfielder: De Jong, Eriksen, Fernandes
United signed Eriksen on a free transfer shortly after his Brentford contract expired.
And although they signed Casemiro to accompany the Denmark international, Ten Hag would have preferred De Jong instead.
United spent three months working to land the Dutch star but, when it became clear it would be too costly and complex to negotiate, they turned their attention to Casemiro instead.
If De Jong had arrived, he would play alongside Eriksen.
And Fernandes would then be used further, in the No.10 position he has made his own in recent years.
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Attackers: Sancho, Nunez, Rashford
Ten Hag was delighted to have reunited with Antony, after managing the 22-year-old at Ajax.
However, before pushing the Glazers to land the veteran, he wanted to secure Nunez’s signature.
The Uruguay international has, however, made it clear he wants Liverpool – who then signed him as a replacement for Sadio Mane.
If Nunez had joined United, he would be playing in the middle.
And Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford would then go right and left of the club’s attack.
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