Erik ten Hag insists he is sanguine with the state of Manchester United’s midfield despite no reinforcements in the area.

United have not signed an out-and-out central midfielder since Fred in 2018 and the departure of Nemanja Matic has left them without a recognised defensive midfielder.

The club have agreed an €85million fee with Barcelona for midfielder Frenkie de Jong but that pursuit is nearing the 13-week mark.

Fred and Scott McTominay could line up against Brighton in United’s opening Premier League fixture on Sunday, with Donny van de Beek and James Garner in reserve.

When asked if he was happy with the options in midfield, Ten Hag replied: “I think so. Pre-season, we did pretty well there. I’m convinced we have a good team and a good squad. We can still strengthen but the team has showed it can play at a good level.”

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A reporter mentioned De Jong and Ten Hag smiled: “We want Frenkie? It’s about the right players and I cannot give comments on a player under contract at another club.

“When you work with the current squad and develop players in your current squad, in this moment we have players in that position and perform really well.

“It would be a good situation (to have concluded all of their business) but I have a squad and I’m happy with the current squad.

“We make good progress, I’m happy with the signings until now. You don’t need any player, you need the right player, that’s what we’re working for.”

Ten Hag reiterated United are holding out for the right player to strengthen their squad rather than moving onto an alternative: “If it’s not the right player, no. We need the right players.”

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United have signed Tyrell Malacia, Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez so far this summer but want to add a forward amid interest in Ajax winger Antony and Red Bull Salzburg striker Benjamin Sesko.

Left-back Malacia toured with United in Thailand and Australia but Eriksen and Martinez only played for the club for the first time in friendlies with Atletico Madrid and Rayo Vallecano last week.

Despite their lack of playing time, Ten Hag believes both are fit enough to start: “I like these (selection) problems. We need in the squad competition, is one, but also we’re coming into a long season with a lot of games so we need a lot of good players.

“Eriksen and Martinez? I think they are fit enough to start.”

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