Brennan' brief | 

How landing Harry Kane would allow new United boss Erik ten Hag to clear out Old Trafford deadwood

City failed to lure Harry Kane to the club in the summer (Barrington Coombs/PA)

John Brennan

So Erik ten Hag is finally confirmed as the Captain of the Titanic that is Manchester United. Now he must steer the ship into clear water and someday into the harbour that would be winning a big trophy again.

As well as getting their man, the Glazer family, who own the club, have given the Dutchman a £200 milion transfer kitty. Plus he can keep any money he raises in sales. Though with Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic and Jesse Lingard at the end of their contracts, they can leave for nothing.

And the way United have been playing of late, who would pay big money for any of the rest, the great Cristiano Ronaldo excepted?

He may leave this summer, surely not wanting to spend one of the last seasons of his career at a club that is not in the Champions League.

Ten Hag made his reputation at Ajax, where he put together a fine team of products from the club’s famed Academy.

He’ll not find so many good ones at United’s Academy, which has turned out only Anthony Elanga and the now out-of-bounds Mason Greenwood of late.

So ten Hag will have to use that money wisely. You can be assured that ten Hag knows the best young players in Europe and he will go and try and get a few of them.

Or, with Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe seemingly heading for Manchester City and Real Madrid respectively, will ten Hag seek to spend most of that £200million in one go on Harry Kane?

This would be the last big transfer of his career, and it would be Spurs’ last chance to cash in. Tottenham still have a mortgage to pay off on their new ground, and if they were to reach the Champions League next season, the London club would have that as a big source of income next season. It might be tempting for Spurs to sell the England man now.

Getting Kane would allow ten Hag to clear out the deadwood in the United attack, the players who have not been scoring or making goals all season. Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Edinson Cavani and Lingard to name just four.

Yet perhaps a bigger issue comes at the back, where Harry Maguire just isn’t a Manchester United centre-half. He’ll never be a cornerstone of a great Red Devils’ defence in the way that Gary Pallister and Nemanja Vidic were.

You’d imagine ten Hag has negotiated a free hand to sell any player he wants to shift out of Old Trafford, even if it means the club taking a massive hit on the transfer fee. That may be the first move that tells us where ten Hag sees himself taking one of the world’s greatest football clubs.

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