Erik ten Hag’s ‘transfer plan revolving around Casemiro’ comes to light

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Erik ten Hag views Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount as the perfect player to line up alongside Casemiro and Bruno Fernandes in the middle of the park for Manchester United next season, according to reports. The Red Devils are said to be keen on bringing Mount to Old Trafford when the bidding opens next month, with the England playmaker widely expected to leave Chelsea for a new challenge over the coming weeks.

Mount’s long-term future in west London appears to be highly uncertain as things stand, with negotiations over a new and improved contract at Chelsea seemingly at an impasse despite months of internal talks. United have since been put forward as one of several clubs with a desire to land Mount, who is also reported to have emerged as a target for Liverpool ahead of the upcoming summer window.

It seems as though Erik ten Hag has already figured out where Mount would fit into his plans for next season, with the Dutchman eager to deploy him as a box-to-box player alongside Casemiro and Fernandes, according to Forbes. It is said that Ten Hag wants to play with ‘two number eights’ in the engine room, with Casemiro set to reprise his holding midfield role after impressing over the course of his debut campaign at Old Trafford.

This would leave Mount and Fernandes as the other first-choice options as part of a formidable midfield trio, although it remains to be seen whether United will be able to strike a deal with Chelsea to land the former in the not-too-distant future. The Blues are thought to be resigned to losing Mount at the end of the season, which suggests that a bidding war could soon develop if United are joined by the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal in their efforts to snap him up.

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It has recently been reported that Mount would prefer to join the Red Devils over any other club this summer, which would give Ten Hag the upper hand in the battle to land the 24-year-old before the new campaign gets underway. Only time will tell if a deal ends up coming to fruition, though, with any move set to depend on whether United and Chelsea can agree on a transfer fee as Mount enters the final year of his existing contract at Stamford Bridge.

United legend Gary Neville recently suggested that Mount would be a shrewd acquisition for his former club due to his ability to succeed under the guidance of Ten Hag, who has a fondness for developing technical players and would be well-placed to help the Chelsea man realise his full potential at Old Trafford.

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“Mason Mount is a coach’s player, I think that is the best way to describe him and there have been many I have seen in my lifetime in football where they get more respect from the coaching staff for what they do than they do from the fans that are watching them,” Neville told Sky Sports.

“I’m not surprised Mason Mount is a target for Manchester United. I don’t think it would be a priority here, but he [Ten Hag] does want midfield players. You think about Dutch coaches, they want to dominate possession, he [Ten Hag] wants [Frenkie] de Jong, he wants players who can handle the ball.

“He loves [Christian] Eriksen, he loves [Marcel] Sabitzer, he loves Fernandes. He’s left Fred and [Scott] McTominay out of the team more often than not because he loves more technical players and Mason Mount is a technical player who is available.”

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