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Manchester United report: Erik ten Hag's first signing to be a South American superstar snatched from under Chelsea and Arsenal's noses

Manchester United report
(Image credit: Future)

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag could gazump Arsenal and Chelsea with his very first transfer as Red Devils manager.

The Dutchman was announced this week as the long-awaited new permanent manager at Old Trafford, succeeding interim boss Ralf Rangnick. Ten Hag has been heavily rumoured for months now and will step into the role at the end of his current Eredivisie campaign with Ajax. 

A 4-0 shellacking at the hands of rivals Liverpool at Anfield on Tuesday has further highlighted the task that the 52-year-old has in the transfer window – though United are reportedly looking to make quite the statement in their pursuit of one highly-rated striker. 

Liverpool v Manchester United – Premier League – Anfield

(Image credit: Mike Egerton) (opens in new tab) have noted United are interested in Benfica hitman Darwin Nunez, following an outstanding campaign in which the Uruguayan delivered the killer blow to Ten Hag's own side. As well as netting the crucial goal in Amsterdam in the last-16 of the Champions League, the 22-year-old also managed to score against Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Liverpool in this season's competition. 

With the Red Devils chasing a new striker – Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani are both expected to depart the Premier League come summer – Nunez fits the bill as a physical, prolific and well-rounded centre-forward. 

Both Arsenal and Chelsea have shown interest in the player, with Alexandre Lacazette leaving the north and Romelu Lukaku struggling in the west of London respectively. United, however, will back themselves to show the kind of financial might that has won them countless transfer tussles in the past, including the likes of Fred, Alexis Sanchez and even Ronaldo himself, who were all reportedly on the radar of rivals Manchester City.

Darwin Nunez

(Image credit: Getty)

This summer looks primed to be one of the biggest in United's history. With countless players out of contract, including Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata, the club are also looking to move on several more – and whispers have linked the likes of Marcus Rashford, Harry Maguire and David De Gea with exits of late. 

Nunez is valued at around £36m by Transfermarkt (opens in new tab).

More Manchester United stories

Manchester United are reportedly set to make a major u-turn and in fact offer Paul Pogba a new contract – which has apparently upset several of the dressing room.

There are big rumours about a busy summer at Old Trafford: Ten Hag apparently wants to bring three Ajax stars with him to the Premier LeagueYouri Tielemans is a potential arrival in midfield and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is also on the radar

Meanwhile, Bayern Munich star Alphonso Davies has mocked "whatshisname" Harry Maguire as Cristiano Ronaldo's captain at Manchester United.

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Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. Over his time on the brand, he has interviewed the likes of Aaron Ramsdale and Jack Wilshere, written pieces ranging on subjects from Bobby Robson's season at Barcelona to Robinho's career, and has been to the FA Cup and League Cup finals, working for FFT