Erik ten Hag told his Manchester United players to focus on their next game within moments of wrapping up victory over Real Betis in the Europa League.
United avoided a potential banana-skin in Spain, winning 1-0 to complete a 5-1 aggregate victory over Manuel Pellegrini’s side. They remain among the favourites for Europa League glory, having reached the semi-finals in 2020 and the final in 2021.
That isn’t the only tournament they’re gunning for, though, and an FA Cup quarter-final with Fulham awaits on Sunday. United have already won one domestic cup under Ten Hag this season, and goalkeeper David de Gea reveɑled where the manager’s focus lies.
“Starting now, the manager says, ‘Come on guys, take the shower and go home quickly to recover as soon as possible.’,” De Gea told MUTV.
“Yeah, it’s non-stop. We play again on Sunday, another big game, another big competition, so we have to recover really well, prepare the game as best as we can and go again.”
United are at home to Fulham on Sunday, knowing that only four Premier League teams are left in the FA Cup with the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and holders Liverpool eliminated early. Ten Hag’s team have already beɑten the Cottagers once this season, with Alejandro Garnacho scoring a late winner in November’s meeting.
Marcus Rashford scored the only goal of the game as Man Utd beɑt Real Betis
As for Europe, competition remɑins strong despite the elimination of Premier League leaders Arsenal. The Gunners were eliminated on penalties by Sporting Lisbon, while Real Sociedad – who beɑt United in the group stage – have also been knocked out.
There are still strong teams left in the competition, though, including Sporting and Jose Mourinho’s Roma. Juventus, Bayer Leverkusen and Sevilla all began the season in the Champions League, while Union Saint-Gilloise and Feyenoord recorded impressive wins in the round of 16.
United’s second leg was largely a formality, after goals from Antony, Bruno Fernandes and Wout Weghorst helped them secure a 4-1 victory in the first leg at Old Trafford. Marcus Rashford had opened the scoring in the home leg, and the England man was on target again at Estadio Benito Villamarin.
Ten Hag gave Facundo Pellistri a full debut against Real Betis
The trip to Spain also brought a long-awaited full debut for Facundo Pellistri. The Uruguayan winger joined United in 2020, but was made to wait for a first start after a loan exit and a run of outings from the bench under Ten Hag.
“Hopefully it’s the start of this,” Pellistri said after the game. “Of course I’m hungry. A lot of players in the group are really hungry, we have one amazing group. We all push to the same side. Hopefully, at the end of the season, we can win a lot of trophies.
“Being in a club like Manchester United, you always want to be here. So now I’m focused on helping the team to win more trophies this season.”
Manchester United preparing £143m double swoop for Napoli duo
Manchester United are reportedly prepared to make a £143m double swoop for Napoli ‘s Victor Osimhen and Kim Min-jae .
Napoli are currently enjoying a memorable season, with Luciano Spalletti ‘s side on the verge of ending the club’s 33-year wait for a Serie A title.
Having won 22 of their 26 league games this term, Napoli are currently 18 points clear of second-placed Inter Milan.
They also set up a Champions League quarter-final tie with fellow Italian side AC Milan after they beɑt Eintracht Frankfurt 5-0 on aggregate.
Due to their success this season, several key members of the Napoli squad are currently attracting the attention of clubs across Europe.
According to Football Inside r, Man United are plotting a £143m raid to prise Osimhen and Kim away from the Serie A leaders.
The Red Devils strengthened their forward line with the loan signing of Wout Weghorst in the January transfer window.
However, the Dutchman has scored just two goals in 17 appearances for Erik ten Hag ‘s side and is expected to return to Burnley when his loan deal concludes at the end of the season.
With Anthony Martial ‘s future also in doubt, Man United are keen to sign a high-profile forward in the summer transfer window.
As well as being linked with Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane , they have also been credited with showing an interest in Osimhen.
The Nigeria international is currently Serie A’s top scorer after racking up 19 goals in 22 league appearances this season.
With Osimhen under contract until June 2025, Man United may have to stump up a fee in excess of £100m to secure his services.
The Red Devils are also keen to strengthen their backline, and they have reportedly collected several positive scouting reports about Kim’s performances at Napoli.
The South Korea international, who arrived from Fenerbahce last summer, has started 25 of Napoli’s 26 league games this season, chipping in with two goals and an assist.
Kim has a contract until June 2025 with an option to extend by two years, but his deal allegedly includes a release worth £43m, which will run for two weeks in July.