Ten Hag wanted to sign Tyrell Malacia for Ajax but 'did not dare' due to Feyenoord rivalry
Manchester United have agreed a deal to sign Tyrell Malacia which is expected to be formally announced soon.
Sky Sports reported how United agreed a £13 million fee with Feyenoord plus nearly £2 million in add-ons, trumping interest from Lyon, although The Athletic report a switch of agents has delayed the deal being concluded so far.
Malacia is a player Erik ten Hag is familiar with from when they crossed paths in the Eredivisie, with Feyenoord and Ajax notorious rivals.
He is also a player Ten Hag was tentatively keen on signing before, although never followed it up.
Ten Hag ‘did not dare’
Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reports Erik ten Hag was interested in signing Malacia for Ajax previously.
However, due to the fierce rivalry between Feyenoord and Ajax, Ten Hag knew Malacia would not make the jump from his boyhood club to a rival.
The report states Ten Hag ‘did not dare’ even enquire after the left-back as he knew it would be fruitless.
It added: “The Manchester United manager has seen Malacia as the best left wing defender after Daley Blind for years and ‘he would have loved to have had him in his team at Ajax’.”
Now having switched clubs to Manchester United, Ten Hag has made one of his first orders of business to pursue a deal for Malacia.
It appears he has got his man, with L’Equipe reporting Malacia has snubbed Lyon and chosen Manchester United.
The defender has gone onto establish himself in the Netherlands internationals set up over the past 12 months and the fee United are paying is great value.
Left-back is a position United needed to strengthen, and it is very possible both Alex Telles and Brandon Williams are moved on to raise funds, even recouping the fee being spent to land Malacia.