Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag insists he has no regrets about not signing Harry Kane this summer.
Kane was Ten Hag’s No.1 target and was strongly linked with a move to Old Trafford before joining Bayern Munich for £100million from Tottenham after United signed Rasmus Hojlund instead.
The England captain will face United on his Champions League debut for Bayern at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday night, and Ten Hag was asked if he has any regrets about not getting his man.
‘No,’ replied the United boss. ‘I think we’ve discussed it. I don’t think we have to repeat this bit. We are happy with Rasmus. In the first game, he was injured. He played against Arsenal, he’s had a start (against Brighton), and now we have to integrate him in the team. You can see he’s a big talent.’
Marcus Rashford was criticised for not passing to Hojlund on several occasions in United’s 3-1 defeat to Brighton at Old Trafford on Saturday, and Ten Hag confirmed that he has spoken to Rashford about striking up a better partnership with the new £72m signing.
Man United manager Erik ten Hag (middle) faces a daunting Champions League opener against Bayern Munich
Kane (left) has formed a strong relationship with Bayern boss Thomas Tuchel (right) since moving to the club
‘Yes, absolutely,’ he added. ‘How can the two benefit from each other? But they have to know each other and that process just started.
‘But, at the same time, we need results. It has to go hand in hand. We learn from every training and every game and we reflect. Of course, we need that as a coaching staff but we have seen Rasmus and Rashy together, they are talking how they can benefit from each other.
‘You can see that discussion and interaction is going on the pitch, you can see that connection is there and they will get the routines there.’
United arrived in Bavaria on Tuesday without 12 first-team players. Nine are out injured, Donny van de Beek is not in the Champions League squad, and Antony and Jadon Sancho are unavailable.
Harry Maguire joined the casualty list on Tuesday despite training at Carrington and did not make the trip. ‘He had some complaints and we have to see how bad it is,’ said Ten Hag. ‘He finished training but was not good enough to travel.’
United have lost three of their first five Premier League games and the Dutchman admitted that his team need to show a marked improvement against one of the best teams in Europe.
Bayern have won their opening Champions League group game for the last 19 years by an aggregate score of 47-2. The last team to avoid defeat at the Allianz Arena in a group game was Ten Hag’s Ajax in 2018.
‘We don’t feel we need a reset, absolutely not, we are in a process and what you see is in parts of games we play very good,’ he said.
‘But in parts of games we play below our levels. What we have to demand is be consistent, we have to step up in certain levels for 90-plus minutes.’