Erik ten Hag: No need for 'panic' over lack of Manchester United signings

A deal for Juventus midfielder Rabiot said to be close but move for Barca's De Jong at an impasse

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Erik ten Hag insists there is no need to "panic" over Manchester United's lack of transfer activity with less than three weeks to go before the European window to sign players closes.

Though Lisandro Martinez, Tyrell Malacia and Christian Eriksen have been added to the squad, negotiations to bring in No 1 target Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona are at an impasse. While Barca are keen to sell the Netherlands midfielder, the player wants to stay and is thought to be unwilling to move to Old Trafford.

A deal for Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot is close, according to reports in Italy, while Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech is also a target. However, a move for Bologna forward Marko Arnautovic looks to be dead following criticism from United fans.

“When Manchester United is not performing, not winning, that’s normal,” Ten Hag said when asked if the concern on fans’ message boards was shared inside United.

“I would be more in panic when there wasn’t panic because we have to win. That is the demand. Still, I would say panic isn’t the right word. It’s more like, ‘come on, we have to act’. We have to think bright and do the right things.

“Once again it would be my preference [if] we could be starting the process earlier, that’s quite clear but at the end of the day the season is long and you have to get in the right players,” he added.

“It’s really complicated but I think we are really happy with what we have done until now.”

The Dutchman also expressed confidence he would have the squad he needed by the time the window shuts, saying: “We have to. I am convinced we will have.”

Ten Hag admits United remain short in midfield and attack. They head to Brentford on Saturday with Anthony Martial out injured and Cristiano Ronaldo lacking fitness and, potentially, out of favour after only starting on the bench for last week's 2-1 Premier League home defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion.

“In the department of midfield and offence you have seen when we have one injury then we have a problem,” Ten Hag said. “That’s clear.”

United cannot afford to lose any more attacking players and Ten Hag took issue with the idea that Ronaldo wanted to leave the club due to the lack of Champions League football this term.

“That is your assumption,” he said. “That is not what he is telling me.

“We plan with him for this season and we are happy with him and we have to fit him into the team so he has to come at the right fitness levels so that he can do the job that we expect him to do.”

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This week also saw reports linking academy product Marcus Rashford with an exit after reports in France said his representatives had spoken to Paris Saint-Germain.

Ten Hag moved to quash transfer speculation around the 24-year-old forward's future, saying he had not spoken to the player yet "but he knows I love him, he knows I want him to be here".

“He showed already in the short time I’ve been here, in pre-season, what he can do. Also last week he was twice in a position where he could score. The team, also with his contribution, he was in the right moment in the right place and I know and I trust he will finish in the future.”

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Updated: August 13, 2022, 6:32 AM