Home » Erik ten Hag was not the first Manchester United manager to want Marko Arnautovic

Erik ten Hag was not the first Manchester United manager to want Marko Arnautovic

by Ayantan Chowdhury

Manchester United were linked with a whole host of attacking players in the summer gone by after Erik ten Hag took over one of the world’s most difficult managerial jobs.

With the uncertainty surrounding Cristiano Ronaldo‘s future and the inconsistent displays from from Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford in the past, the onus was on the club to recruit a top goal-getter.

However, the Portuguese ended up staying and Martial and Rashford excelled in pre-season and at the start of the campaign, and the Red Devils ended up focussing on other more important targets.

Arnautovic came close to a United move

One name that was close to arriving at Old Trafford was Bologna star Marko Arnautovic. Backlash from fans meant a deal for the Austrian never materialised.

The 33-year-old’s past misdemeanors meant he was never a popular choice among fans and the club instead opted to strengthen in attack by buying Brazilian Antony.

But the former West Ham United attacker has now revealed to Sportweek, the weekly magazine published by Gazzetta that Jose Mourinho wanted him back when he was United boss.

“He does, he wanted me when I was at West Ham,” Arnautovic told (via football italia).

The striker was part of Mourinho’s Treble-winning Inter Milan side back in 2010. However, the Portuguese was never his biggest fan.

Attitude issues were cited as a major problem. But the striker revealed that Mourinho had eventually come around and relised his worth.

Mourinho wanted Arnautovic

“He told me: ‘How much do you cost?’ And I was like: ‘So, do you still want me?’

“However, his Manchester United side had bought Paul Pogba and didn’t have enough money for me.”

Pogba had joined the Red Devils from Juventus in 2016 for a record £89million, while Arnautovic played for West Ham from 2017 until 2019.

Despite his recent resurgence, United and Ten Hag did well not to bring back Arnautovic to the Premier League as the club should focus on younger targets better suited to the manager’s demands.

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