News From Manchester: Three defensive midfielders Erik ten Hag should consider as he begins Manchester United rebuild – Casey Evans

Nevertheless, the point still stands that United's options are dwindling and there are only a limited number of quality number sixes left that could be targetted this summer. Let's look at three players who could still be of interest as Erik ten Hag looks to make his mark at Old Trafford.

Florian Grillitsch

The 26-year-old Austrian midfielder is available on a free transfer this summer and his signing could prove to be a smart piece of business given United have a number of other positions they need to strengthen. Grillitsch can also play at centre-back, meaning he would offer versatility.

Nemanja Matic's imminent departure leaves Scott McTominay as United's only other option at number six, and the Scot has shown this season that he doesn't have the technical ability to play the role. Grillitsch is an experienced defensive midfielder who could slot in immediately and make a difference.

Ibrahim Sangare

Probably the best possible option still available in the under-25 bracket (if we assume that Declan Rice has been priced out of a move), Sangare has had a great season with PSV Eindhoven. His performance against Ten Hag's Ajax in the Dutch Cup final was crucial to securing victory for PSV.

He has the physicality that McTominay brings but he also has the intelligence off the ball that the Scottish midfielder lacks. He knows how to position himself in and out of possession to support his teammates and next to a more creative or dynamic midfielder like Frenkie de Jong or even Fred, he would be a solid part of a double pivot.

Lisandro Martinez

The wildcard option, Martinez has played centre-back at Ajax this season under Ten Hag but he has played as a defensive midfielder in the past and this may help him adapt to the physicality of the Premier League if he was to move. Edson Alvarez has also been suggested by United fans, but Martinez is much more comfortable on the ball than his Ajax teammate.

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