Henning Berg raised the question of the ongoing up-in-the-air nature of Manchester United’s ownership having an impact on the club’s transfer business this summer.
The Glazer family have put the Old Trafford club up for sale and have sought offers for United. The most high profile of these bids have come from Sheikh Jassim and Sir Jim Ratcliffe.
The process is rumbling on and it is not yet clear which bid will be the successful one. Both are different, with Sheikh Jassim’s plan to take over United completely, with the Ratcliffe approach taking a majority stake in United and the potential of the Glazers staying on in a minority role.
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United are planning to make acquisitions this summer. A striker is among the priorities with Tottenham Hotspur captain Harry Kane one of the options at the top of the list, while links have also emerged for Chelsea’s Mason Mount and West Ham United’s Declan Rice in recent days.
After the win over Chelsea on Thursday night secured Champions League qualification for next season, United boss Erik ten Hag said the club need “better players” in order to kick on and challenge for the Premier League title.
He said: “I think in this league, that’s a good base to be in the top four but, yeah, we want to compete for the title. But it has to be realistic and you can first say when you have your squad in the end of the transfer window and also the winter transfer window that you can do, the squad is there and you can make a statement about if it’s realistic or not.
“Now we are far away, so we have a lot of work to do, we’ve made progress with this team, with this squad but we need better players if we want to compete for the highest.
“I think in the Premier League, yeah, it (top four)’s something like [a trophy], it’s the main objective of the season to get in the Champions League, so therefore you have to see yourself in the top four.
“The competition is tough, there are many teams with really good squads, good managers, so when you are in there, you did a good job and your team is playing well and performing well and for this moment this is the maximum but we want more.”
However, former United defender Berg, who won the Treble during his time at the club, has raised questions over the ongoing issue of the club’s ownership and the potential impact it could have on Ten Hag’s intended business this summer.
“It is a concern,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live Breakfast. “How will it affect recruitment? What is the philosophy of any potential new owners?
“For United to take the next step, they need top-quality players – and they are not cheap.”
The former United defender also assessed Ten Hag’s first season in charge at the club.
He added: “It has been a testing year for Ten Hag. He turned it around after a very difficult start. He has good players and a very good team.
“I would not say it has been a rollercoaster but there have been some big downs. Losing 7-0 to Liverpool s not easy to handle but he has shown character and strength, and those defeats have not destroyed their season.
“They have won so many games and at home have been really impressive.”