Erik ten Hag says Manchester United don’t need to qualify for the Champions League to attract top footballers but admits that it makes the club “more interesting”.
Speaking at the pre-match press conference ahead of United’s Premier League clash with Newcastle later today, the boss was asked whether it will be vital to secure a place in the elite competition in order to give United an edge over the rivals in the transfer market.
“One thing, let’s make clear. We have to play Champions League football because Manchester United has to act in the Champions League,” Ten Hag said.
“Of course we are more interesting when we are in the Champions League.
“But I think even when we are not, we are still attractive for players. I have noticed that also last year, when we were not in the Champions League.
“But I want to make my point clear. We have to be in the Champions League. So we have two paths. There is one over the Premier League, being in the top four, or with the Europa League, winning the Europa League, so they are the two paths.”
The boss was then asked how he persuaded players like Casemiro and Antony to make the switch even when United were in the Europa League.
“I think very good example, Casemiro,” he responded.
“I think he won everything, all Champions Leagues, but he was willing to come to Manchester United even when we were playing Europa League, because this club attracts people.
“It’s very interesting for them and they want to be part of this club.”
Three points against the Magpies today will provide United with a fantastic cushion as they chase that top four finish.
It would move them six points clear of the North East club and four points clear of fourth placed Spurs, with a game in hand.
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