Man Utd transfers: Haaland, Nunez, De Jong included in crazy XI of targets this summer

Man Utd have been keen to back new manager Erik ten Hag in the transfer market this summer.

The club find themselves uncharacteristically languishing outside of the Champions League and are no doubt keen to return to the European big time as soon as possible.

As a result, the recruitment department have wasted no time in trying to bring in top talent to fuel their resurgence.

Christian Eriksen, Lisandro Martinez and Tyrell Malacia have all made their way through the door so far.

Whilst a reported move for Casemiro could materialise in the near future.

But there can be no denying that many of the top targets on United’s shopping list have been snapped up by major rivals and, in effect, snubbed a move to the club.

We saw it with Erling Haaland, who opted to join their ‘noisy neighbours’ despite concrete interest on the part of United.

Likewise Darwin Nunez, who’s transfer was hijacked by arch-rival Liverpool.

All of which got us thinking – could you actually create an XI of players that United have failed to get over the line? And, if so, how good would it be?

The answer… pretty darn good.

A combined XI of players to reject United this summer

GK: Yan Sommer – Borussia Monchengladbach

Ten Hag is keen to bring in some competition for the out of form David De Gea and was apparently sweet on Sommer.

The Swiss, though, has reservations about the prospect of joining as De Gea’s number two with the World Cup just on the horizon.

Yan Sommer
Switzerland’s Sommer celebrates the Euro 2020 win vs France.

CB: Jurrien Timber – Ajax

Timber seemed like a done deal for a while. He has strong links to Ten Hag and would have provided a useful option in defence.

However, the Dutchman had a last minute change of heart amid fears he wouldn’t be selected for the Netherlands squad at the upcoming World Cup.

CB: Matthijs de Ligt – Juventus/Bayern

Timber’s compatriot and centre back extraordinaire, De Ligt would have proved a huge coup for the club given the global interest in his signature.

Despite heavy interest on the part of United – who had a right old struggle finding a suitable candidate for this position – De Ligt joined Bayern.

De Ligt
TURIN, ITALY – MAY 01: Matthijs de Ligt of Juventus warms up prior to the Serie A match between Juventus and Venezia FC at Allianz Stadium on May 01, 2022 in Turin, Italy. (Photo by Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images)

CB: Antonio Rudiger – Chelsea

Remember when Rudiger’s future was up in the air towards the back-end of last season and United were being heavily linked with a move for the German?

It would have been a sensational bit of business had they pulled it off. Yet, those pesky Madridstas had to swoop in and pull the rug out from under the deal’s feet – a real shame this one.

CDM: Kalvin Phillips – Leeds/Man City

It wasn’t just Haaland this summer that overlooked one side of Manchester for another.

“Going to United? No, there was never any chance of me going there.” Phillips said, per The Mirror.

“You know my loyalty to Leeds. My family as well – they’re all Leeds fans.

“I was honoured that United wanted me, such a big team and one of the biggest teams in the world.

“But no, I had to stay loyal to Leeds and choose to go to the other side of Manchester.”

Kalvin Phillips
GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN – JULY 23: Kalvin Phillips of Manchester City in action during the pre-season friendly match between Bayern Munich and Manchester City at Lambeau Field on July 23, 2022 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

CM: Frenkie de Jong – Barcelona

United fans were ecstatic last month when it was reported that the two clubs had agreed a £72 million deal for the Dutchman.

From De Jong’s perspective, though, their lack of Champions League football was enough to turn him off the idea.

CM: Adrien Rabiot – Juventus

On the flip side to De Jong, most of the Red Devils’ support will be over the moon this deal never went through.

Reports that the Frenchman was negotiating personal terms was met with an underwhelming sense of pessimism, and it seems his wage demands were so outrageous he wanted to become one of the highest earners at the club.

A factor which would ultimately see the transfer fall through.

Rabiot in action for Juventus
ROME, ITALY – MAY 11: Adrien Rabiot of Juventus during the Coppa Italia Final match between Juventus and FC Internazionale at Stadio Olimpico on May 11, 2022 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)

RM: Anthony – Ajax

This saga has been raging all summer – and who knows, it could still happen yet – but it seems Ajax have priced United out of a move by the Dutch club’s north of £80 million valuation.

The Brazilian would be some signing as well.

Man United close to signing Casemiro✍️ Aubameyang CLOSE ⌛ Glazers to SELL? Klopp to hurt ten Hag! (The Football Terrace)

LM: Cody Gakpo – PSV Eindhoven

United legend Ruud van Nistelrooy has looked to pour cold water on claims that his former club could be in for his star man, saying “For me, Coady is a player that is ours.”

Although it seems Ten Hag hasn’t been put off so lightly, with reports recently claiming that the pursuit is far from over.

As of yet, though, Gakpo remains another missed target.

Gakpo in action
Gakpo in action

ST: Darwin Nunez – Benfica/Liverpool

As mentioned, Nunez snubbed United in favour of a move to Liverpool.

According to The Metro, the prospect of Champions League football and the Jurgen Klopp factor, were enough to see him opt for the Kop despite the Red Devils fielding a bigger offer.

ST: Erling Haaland – Borussia Dortmund/Man City

It’s no real surprise Haaland opted for the lure of the blue side of Manchester.

Besides the fact City had just lifted the Premier League title and boasted Pep Guardiola as their boss, his dad is a former City player and so his links to the club run deep.

When asked who he was most looking forward to playing at his unveiling, the simple response came, “I don’t like to say words but… Manchester United.”

Premier League quiz:

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Manchester United

We’ll start with an easy one: Who made the error to hand Brentford their opening goal as they thrashed Man United 4-0?

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