22 Sep Ten Hag denies squad rift: We are ‘united’
MANCHESTER, England — Erik ten Hag has played down suggestions of a split in the Manchester United dressing room following their poor start to the season and insisted “everyone is united” at Old Trafford.
Speaking ahead of a crucial trip to Burnley on Saturday, Ten Hag addressed reports of a bust-up between players following the defeat to Brighton and that some players are still disappointed about the treatment of David De Gea, who is a free agent following his release over the summer.
“I know it’s not always going up and you will have your gaps and you will get stronger from it as long as you stay together,” Ten Hag said in a news conference on Friday.
“That’s what we’re doing. The staff, all the staff, the coaches, medical; everyone is united and at United you fight.”
United head to Burnley looking to avoid a fourth defeat in a row for the first time since December 2015 when Louis van Gaal was in charge.
Ahead of the game, Ten Hag was also forced to address reports that there are concerns within the club that the Dutchman’s representatives at agency SEG are heavily involved in United’s transfer policy.
He said: “It can’t be because we make very good agreements about it from the start; how we co-operate in that manner.
“For player decisions, transfers, it’s always 50-50. We both have a veto, the club, represented by [football director] John Murtough, and me. So there can never be a distraction.”
Ten Hag was missing 12 senior players for the defeat at Bayern, but there is hope at least a couple will be able to return to make the squad at Turf Moor.
Decisions will be made on the availability of Mason Mount, Raphaël Varane, Harry Maguire and Sofyan Amrabat after training on Friday, although Jadon Sancho remains out while he is excluded from the squad.
“Harry Maguire, we will see again after training but Varane will train, we will see, Amrabat will train, we will see, and Mount as well,” Ten Hag said.
“They didn’t play for short or longer-term.”
On Sancho, Ten Hag said: “It depends on him. For the rest, we are preparing for Burnley and that’s our focus. He will not be in the squad.”