manchester united he does not usually make transfers in the winter window, feeling that clubs are reluctant to let go of genuine talent in the middle of a season. This time, however, there is a pressure to replace cristiano ronaldo.
Manager Erik ten Hag told reporters at United’s training ground in Spain during the World cup break that he wants to add to his attack: “We do everything in our power. We are investigating every opportunity and do everything we can if that opportunity is there to hire them.”
Here, the athletic discusses the possibilities for moves in and out next month, and who will make the final decision on offers.
Last three January window expenses
2020: £47 million
How much money is likely to be available this month?
Since the summer, when United went over budget by £100m, this winter window has been seen as a window of preservation rather than increase. United’s first-quarter financial results detailed the extent of the problems: total debt close to £1bn, with just £24.3m in cash in the bank (in June 2019, they had £308m). of sterling).
But Ronaldo’s output increases the need for a center forward and Ten Hag could still exert his recruiting influence to see the money available. Agents wonder what United are up for sale for transfers means, but some think it would make sense for the owners, the Glazer family, to once again tap into the revolving credit facility to improve football’s chances. Champions League next season. Qualification after missing out this season would raise the value of the club.
Who makes the key transfer decisions?
Ten Hag’s voice is the most prominent. on the identities of the targets: it had a crucial influence on the search and the cost of anthony in the summer, but works alongside a recruiting team that is increasingly data-driven. Ten Hag has a good relationship with director of football John Murtough, with the final nod coming from Joel Glazer. This will continue even during talks over possible United ownership, with “business as usual” being the Old Trafford mantra.
Joel, the most involved of the Glazers in club affairs, has continued to communicate with chief executive Richard Arnold about the running of United.
Steven Brown, United’s head of recruiting, oversees the scouts and collects the information. Dominic Jordan, the club’s first director of data science, analyzes the statistics. Murtough’s deputy, Andy O’Boyle, is also involved in the discussions.
Murtough takes the lead in negotiations with agents and executive counterparts, and Arnold occasionally steps in when large sums are committed.
What position is the priority?
Finding a striker who would fit Ten Hag’s ideals was the overriding requirement, even before Ronaldo’s departure last month. antonio martial he could get the job done, but he’s already been sidelined with three different injuries this season. You can not trust him.
Mark Rashford he has played up front, but he is more effective from the left, and they may need him there with doubts about Jadon Sanchothe return teenager Alexander Garnacho He would be expected to get more playing time, and Antonio and Antonio Elanga They are options for the bands but the situation is quite raw.
A right back for the rival Diogo Dalotwho had started 20 of United’s 21 games this season before missing their first post-World Cup game against Burnley in the Carabao Cup last Wednesday, it could be another requirement. Aaron Wan Bissaka he had only played four minutes all season before being named in the squad to face Burnley, but he performed well, including his first assist for 18 months.
Ten Hag later said: “It is clear that Wan-Bissaka has a future. He had some good years at Man United and since the start of this season he has had a lot of illness and injury. Since the restart he is fit and could train with the team”.
It was a position that Ten Hag wanted to strengthen in the final days of the summer window, with talks being held about the US international. destiny serginowho moved to AC Milan instead on loan from Barcelona.
Who are the plausible targets?
Cody Gakpo has been up for discussion again. Personal conditions agreed to by United with their representatives in the summer and the player himself was preparing for a move, only for Ajax to raise the price of Antony, forbidding spending more. Since then Gakpo has enjoyed a good World Cup, and Ten Hag’s liking for him has continued. The personnel of the exploration department are aligned with that thought.
Gakpo’s best position is left-back, although he has started in the middle for the Netherlands in Qatar. The uncertainty about Sancho means flexible players will be especially useful.
In the summer, PSV Eindhoven hinted that a €50m offer would be required for Gakpo, a fee protected by his contract until the summer of 2026. PSV are also aiming to win the Eredivisie title for the first time in five years. and believes that Gakpo is essential to that goal. However, there are suggestions that they need to sell, so there may be room for maneuver.
Ten Hag works in the same agency as Gakpo. the athletic Murtough has been told that he met Kees Vos, CEO of agency SEG, in Carrington in the past fortnight. Voss is a regular at Old Trafford and the pair see each other regularly.
Ruud van Nistelrooy, his PSV counterpart and a former United hero who swapped the Dutch club for Old Trafford 21 years ago, said last week: “If I have the choice, I’d prefer the summer, but it can also be now. You know there comes a time when you can’t say no.”
Any money spent will come out of the summer budget, and Ten Hag must decide, along with Murtough and Joel Glazer, if that’s the right move.
United could opt for a lower-cost, more experienced striker.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting’s contract with Bayern Munich expires in June, so the Cameroon international, who turns 34 in March, could be available. The summer 2015 purchase of Memphis Depay, now at Barcelona and on February 29, was offered to the club in the previous window. However, there are few attractive options in this mold.
Who could get out?
Wan-Bissaka became available in the last window and United will also listen to offers now. crystal Palace contacted bring the 25-year-old back to Selhurst Park but they weren’t prepared to make an offer anywhere near the £50m fee United paid for him to move in the opposite direction in 2019.
Under the circumstances, Murtough convinced Ten Hag to consider Wan-Bissaka further to see if he could regain his former good form, but his only Premier league appearance so far came against Liverpool in August as an 86th-minute substitute. However, he did start the two recent friendlies in Spain, before continuing against Burnley with Dalot sidelined after picking up an injury in PortugalThe last match of the World Cup. Dalot, who had displaced Juan Cancelo in the Portugal team, he won’t be out for a long time. A loan exit looks more likely for Wan-Bissaka.
United is also expected to hold talks about brandon williamswho returned from injury in those matches against Cádiz and Real Betis. Williams was loaned out to the struggling Premier League norwich city last season and it may be that a permanent transfer now makes more sense, with Ten Hag’s view of the situation being influential.
Axel Tuanzebéwho was loaned out twice in astonville and Napoli last season, is available. But he is currently working on getting back into shape after an injury. Tom Heaton may want to secure regular football after falling behind Martin Dubravka in the pecking order.
Which World Cup star would be perfect for United?
An alternative to steel is gonzalo ramos.
Replacing Ronaldo in Portugal’s starting line-up for a World Cup tie and then instantly scoring a hat-trick in what is his first international start shows he has a granite mentality, while his finishing in that game against Swiss it was sharp as a razor. The complete game of him was also good.
A productive season continued for the 21-year-old, who emerged after the summer sale of Darwin Núñez to Liverpool to score 15 goals for Benfica.
Ten Hag likes Ramos, but again, cost would be a factor.
(Top photo: Goncalo Ramos, Cody Gakpo, Jeremie Frimpong; all Getty Images)