The Red Devils are thought to have achieved a full agreement with Barcelona for Frenkie de Jong, who has been named as the club’s top transfer priority this summer.
Man United, on the other hand, will have to fight to sign the 25-year-old, who has just returned from a pre-season tour in America with his current club.
Ten Hag indicated ahead of Tuesday’s friendly against Crystal Palace that his team is looking to sign a holding midfielder, but that “it needs to be the right one.”
“We are looking for a player who can play in the holding midfield position but it has to be the right one,” Ten Hag told reporters.
“There are not many in that position capable of the level we demand. When we can’t find him, we have to deal with the players in our squad now and we will develop one in that position.
“I will not react on a certain player. We need the right player. We have a list and we qualify as the player who has the competence to play that role. We will strike the moment the player is available.”
Ten Hag has claimed that he “would like to sign English players”, but it has not been possible this summer due to their asking prices.
“I would like to sign English players, because I think there is only one criteria and that’s quality in combination with the price. It looks like English players are quite expensive. It’s a fact you cannot deny. In the end, it’s about quality,” he added