Man United boss makes strange statement aimed at Newcastle United, Man City & Liverpool

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Erik ten Hag reflected on Manchester United’s third placed finish in the Premier League with a comment on club spending power.

Man United ended the league campaign with a 2-1 win over Fulham at Old Trafford. They now look to complete a domestic cup double when they face local rivals Manchester City in the FA Cup final on Saturday.

Ten Hag’s side beat Newcastle United 2-0 in the Carabao Cup final back in February before pipping The Magpies to third on the final day.

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The Red Devils boss made an intriguing claim that the club’s relative success this season came despite him not being backed in the January transfer window compared to the likes of Newcastle, Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool around them.

“The club knows if you want to play top four, compete for trophies in this tough league then you have to invest, otherwise you don’t have a chance because other clubs will do,” ten Hag said. “We’ve seen it in the winter. All the clubs around us made huge investments, we didn’t, but still we made it, so I’m proud of my team.”

Although Man United’s January transfer activity was limited to loan deals for Wout Weghorst, Marcel Sabitzer and Jack Butland, ten Hag had a net spend of just under £200million during his first season in charge at Old Trafford following the summer transfers of Antony, Lisandro Martinez, Casemiro and Tyrell Malacia. Only Chelsea spent more money on transfers during the 2022-23 campaign.

But in January, Man United lost out on Cody Gakpo to Liverpool while Newcastle United completed a £40million deal for Anthony Gordon from Everton and Arsenal spent over £50million on Jorginho, Leandro Trossard and Jakub Kiwior. But Manchester City didn’t make a single major signing in January on their way to winning a third consecutive league title under Pep Guardiola.

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Manchester United have been subject to takeover speculation for the majority of the season with British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe looking to take the club over from the Glazers. Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al-Thani also remains interested with a deal yet to be formally agreed.

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