Erik ten Hag repeats transfer trick to give Manchester United edge after private talks

Erik ten Hag repeats transfer trick to give Manchester United edge after private talks

Joshua Zirkzee could become the latest player Erik ten Hag convinces to join Manchester United after they reportedly held talks last month.

Ten Hag has made a practical habit of calling transfer targets during his two years at Old Trafford, with at least four players speaking to the manager before signing. Christian Eriksen and Tyrell Malacia both acknowledged this in interviews after arriving.

It was the opposite with Lisandro Martinez, as Ten Hag revealed that his former player called him after he decided to leave Ajax. Then, last summer, the Manchester Evening News reported that the manager had made several video calls with Rasmus Hojlund.

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Ten Hag acknowledged before last year’s transfer window opened that he was speaking to potential targets. That is the case again, according to reports, despite a raft of changes at United this year.

Sky Italia reported that the manager spoke to Zirkzee during the last week of June. Most recently, Sky Sport claimed that Ten Hag had a personal meeting with the player’s management at Sport Invest and acknowledged that the manager and player had had direct conversations.

Both are Dutch, with the striker coming through the academies of ADO Den Haag and Feyenoord, while Ten Hag was head coach at Utrecht. From there, Zirkzee joined Bayern Munich in the summer of 2017, where, two years earlier, Ten Hag was the reserve team coach. While their time in Germany did not overlap, it is fair to assume that the coach maintained control over his former employers after returning to the Netherlands.

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