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Fans deliver emphatic verdict on Manchester United's next transfer priority

Manchester Evening News logo Manchester Evening News 03/07/2022 George Smith
A busy summer is under way for Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag and football director John Mutough (right). © Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images. A busy summer is under way for Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag and football director John Mutough (right).

Manchester United supporters want to see the club switch its attention to signing a new defensive midfielder once they have wrapped up the signings of Tyrell Malacia and Frenkie de Jong.

United, as reported by the Manchester Evening News on Wednesday, have agreed fees with both Feyenoord and Barcelona, respectively, to try and bring Malacia and De Jong to Old Trafford. United are understood to be making progress on both deals, despite Barcelona president Joan Laporta insisting that the Spanish giants have 'no intention' of selling De Jong this summer.

The Reds' interest in De Jong, which was signalled almost two months ago, came as a huge shock to most United supporters, as almost everyone expected United's search for a new midfielder this summer to focus on signing one who is renowned for being a defensive-minded player. De Jong, who scored four goals and grabbed five assists for Barcelona last season, is renowned for dictating games, getting on the ball and playing through the lines.

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He has sat deep in the past and offered a layer of protection to the back-four behind him, but he is not renowned for being a tenacious tackler or someone who will break up play. It would be a waste of his talent to deploy him in that role.

Therefore, should United successfully manage to lure the Netherlands international to Old Trafford, the supporters have made it clear that they hope the club's next aim will be to sign a holding midfielder. It is the position that needs strengthening above all others this summer and the fans are desperate to see it bolstered.

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Participating in a poll conducted by the Manchester Evening News, we asked United supporters to vote for what they think should be the club's next priority after, hopefully, signing Malacia and De Jong - and the outcome was overwhelming. Of the 9,423 votes cast, 47.3 per cent of those who took part chose a holding midfielder as the leading priority.

By comparison, the second-most selected choice was a centre-back at 27.5 per cent. A total of 12.7 per cent of the overall vote went in favour of a striker, while a slightly lower figure of 12.5 per cent called for a right-winger to be the next port of call on United's shopping list.

The poll was taken before reports emerged that Cristiano Ronaldo wanting to leave United if a suitable offer was made.

United, as reported by the Manchester Evening News, have submitted a £37million offer for Ajax ace Lisandro Martinez, who can operate in up to three different positions. He is equally capable at centre-back, left-back and defensive-midfield.

Where Ten Hag has plans to deploy him remains to be seen, but if it is defensive-midfield, United's supporters could get their wish. He would offer a sense of the bite and aggression that the Reds are lacking.

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