Man United coach Ten Hag warns money alone won’t buy success

Erik ten Hag has warned prospective new owners of Manchester United that investment in the squad will be meaningless if there is no strategy behind it.

British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Qatari businessman Sheikh Jassim are waiting to hear whether their bids to buy the club have been successful.

Both have suggested they are willing to invest in new players if they take over at Old Trafford, but Ten Hag has insisted any recruitment drive needs to be meticulously planned.

United face Chelsea on Thursday, with the London club set to finish in the bottom half of the Premier League table despite owner Todd Boehly splashing close to £600 million on 16 new players since his takeover at Stamford Bridge last summer.

“There is a centralisation of good players, of the best managers, also of the money, and it is all here in the UK,” Ten Hag said at a news conference on Wednesday. “That makes a great competition, but also a tough and a hard competition.

“And you have to do the right things and you can have money, but you have to do it and spend it in a smart way. And also you need a strategy behind it, because otherwise, the money doesn’t work.”

Despite the uncertainty surrounding the club’s ownership, United are working on a plan to make at least two first-team signings during the summer transfer window. Ten Hag is keen to bring in a striker and a central midfielder with Harry Kane and Mason Mount among the targets.

“I think we are in a good direction, but also we can learn from this season,” Ten Hag added. “We have to evaluate that after the season and make the right conclusions for the future and that is what we will definitely do after the season.

“I want to have players with the right characters, personalities, who are outstanding and contribute on the highest levels, that is what we want and what we have to work for.”

United need a point from their final two games against Chelsea and Fulham to guarantee a place in the top four and qualify for the Champions League. Ten Hag is hopeful of having forward Marcus Rashford available against Chelsea after he returned to training on Tuesday.