Manchester United You don’t usually make signings in the winter when you feel clubs are reluctant to part with real talent mid-season. This time, though, there is a Pressure to replace Cristiano Ronaldo.
manager Erik ten Hag told reporters at United’s training camp in Spain during the weekend world Cup He broke that he wanted to add to his offense: “We do everything we can. We research every opportunity and do everything we can if that opportunity is there to sign them.”
here, the athlete He is looking into the possibilities of moves in and out of the next month, and who will make the final decision on the deals.
The last three window spend in January
2020: £47 million
How much money is likely to be available this month?
Since the summer, when United were over budget by £100m, this winter window has been seen as a window to save rather than an increase. United’s first-quarter financial results detailed the scale of the problems – total debt close to £1bn, with just £24.3m in cash in the bank (in June 2019, they had £308m).
But Ronaldo’s departure is mounting The need to turn the attack Ten Hag may exert influence over recruitment to see available funds. Agents are wondering what United’s offer to sell means for signings, but some feel it would make sense for the owners, the Glazer family, to plunge back into the revolving credit facility to boost Champions League football next season’s chances. Qualifying after absence this season will raise the value of the club.
Who makes major decisions about signatures?
Tin Hag’s voice is the most prominent On target identities – a critical impact on follow-up and cost Anthony in the summer – but works alongside an increasingly data-driven recruitment team. Ten Hag has a good relationship with Director of Football John Murtough, and the eventual signing comes from Joel Glazer. This will continue even through talks over potential United ownership, with ‘business as usual’ being the motto from Old Trafford.
Joel, the Glazers’ most involved in the club’s affairs, continued to communicate with CEO Richard Arnold about running United.
Stephen Brown, United’s head of recruitment, oversees scouting and gathers information. Dominic Jordan, the club’s first director of data science, sifts through the stats. Murtaugh’s deputy Andy O’Boyle is also involved in the discussions.
Murtaugh takes the lead in negotiations with agents and executive counterparts, and Arnold occasionally steps in when large sums are committed.
Which position has priority?
Finding a striker who fit Ten Hag’s model was the most important requirement, even before Ronaldo’s exit last month. Anthony Marcial He can do the job but has been sidelined with three different injuries this season. Unreliable.
Marcus Rashford He played up front but is more effective when he comes out on the left flank, and he might be needed there with doubts about him Jadon Sanchoback. Adolescence Alejandro Garnacho Expected to get more playtime, Anthony W Anthony Elanga Options on the wings but the situation is very stark.
The opponent’s right-back Diogo Dalotwho participated in 20 of United’s 21 games this season before missing his first match after the World Cup. burnley In the Carabao Cup last Wednesday, he may have been another requirement. Aaron Wan-Bissaka He had only played four minutes all season before being named in the squad to face Burnley but he acquitted himself well, including his first assist in 18 months.
Ten Hag said afterwards: “Wan-Bissaka clearly has a future. He’s had some good years at Manchester United and since the start of this season, he’s had a lot of illnesses and injuries. From the start of the second half, he’s fit and can train with the team.”
It was a position Ten Hag wanted to cement in the final days of the summer window, with talks about US internationals taking place Sergino d’Estewho moved to AC Milan Alternatively on loan from Barcelona.
Who are reasonable targets?
Cody Jackbo It was discussed again. United agreed to personal terms With his representatives in the summer and the player himself preparing a move, only for Ajax to raise the price of Anthony, preventing further spending. Since then, Gakpo has enjoyed the World Cup well, and Tin Hag’s admiration for him has remained. Scouting staff members are in line with this thinking.
Gakpo’s best position is left wing, although he started in the middle for the Netherlands in Qatar. Uncertainty about Sancho means flexible players will be particularly useful.
In the summer, PSV PSV hinted that Gakpo’s bid would be worth €50m, a fee protected by his contract which runs until the summer of 2026. PSV also aim to win the Eredivisie for the first time in five years and believe Gakpo is pivotal to that goal. However, there are some suggestions they need to sell, so there may be wiggle room.
Ten Hag works with the same agency as Gakpo. the athlete Murtaugh is said to have met Case Voss, CEO of SEG, in Carrington in the past two weeks. Voss is a regular at Old Trafford and the pair see each other regularly.
Ruud van Nistelrooy, his PSV counterpart and former United hero who himself swapped the Dutch club for Old Trafford 21 years ago, said last week: “If I had the choice, I’d prefer (leaving) the summer, but that’s also possible. It’s now. You know that There is a time when you can’t refuse.”
Whatever money is spent will come from the summer budget and Ten Hag must decide, jointly with Murtough and Joel Glazer, if this is the right call.
United could choose a less expensive and more experienced striker.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting’s contract at Bayern expires in June, so the Cameroonian international – who turns 34 in March – could be available. Summer 2015 bought Memphis Depay, now in Barcelona and February 29, was offered to the club in the previous window. However, there are few attractive options in this template.
Who can head out?
Wan-Bissaka was available in the last window and United will be listening to offers now too. Crystal Palace Call more Bring the 25-year-old back to Selhurst Park But you weren’t prepared to bid anywhere near the £50m fee United paid for the move in the opposite direction in 2019.
Under the circumstances, Murtog persuaded Ten Hag to give Wan-Bissaka more attention to see if he could regain his former good form, but Premier League Appearance so far came against Liverpool in August as an 86th-minute substitute. He started both of their final two friendlies in Spain, before going on to face Burnley with Dalot off with an injury. PortugalThe final match of the World Cup. Dalot who has been displaced Joao Cancelo In the Portugal national team, he will not be out for long. Wan-Bissaka’s departure seems the most likely.
United is also expected to resume talks Brandon Williamswho returned from injury in those matches against Cádiz and Real Betis. Williams went on loan to Premier League strugglers Norwich City Last season, a permanent move might now make more sense, with Ten Hag seeing the status quo in effect.
Axel Tuanzebewhich took out two periods of loans at Aston Villa And Napoli last season, available. But he is currently working his way back to fitness after the injury. Tom Heaton You may want to secure a regular football after falling behind Martin Dubravka Click order.
Which World Cup star would be ideal for Manchester United?
Gakpo alternative is Goncalo Ramos.
Replacing Ronaldo in the starting line-up for Portugal in a World Cup knockout game and then promptly scoring a hat-trick on your first international start shows he has the mentality of granite, while finishing in that match against Switzerland It was razor sharp. His all-round play was also very good.
And it has continued to be a productive season for the 21-year-old, who emerged from the summer sale of Darwin Nunez to Liverpool to score 15 goals for Benfica.
Ten Hag loves Ramos, but again, cost will be a factor.
(Top photo: Goncalo Ramos, Cody Gakpo, Jeremy Frimpong, all Getty Images)
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