Erik ten Hag says Manchester United will do ‘everything in their power’ to replace Cristiano Ronaldo in January… with Cody Gakpo and Goncalo Ramos both on the Red Devils’ wishlist for a new striker
- Manchester United terminated Cristiano Ronaldo’s contract last month
- Erik ten Hag has confirmed they will be looking to sign another striker next month
- The club are already looking for targets ahead of the January transfer window
- United have Cody Gakpo and Goncalo Ramos on their transfer wishlist
Erik ten Hag says Manchester United will do “everything in their power” to sign a replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo in the January transfer window.
£50m-rated PSV Eindhoven’s Cody Gakpo is understood to be a top target, while Ten Hag is an admirer of Benfica striker Gonçalo Ramos who took Ronaldo’s place in the squad. Portugal’s departure to the World Cup.
United have a vacancy in the squad after tearing up Ronaldo’s contract and clearing his £500,000-a-week salary from the wage bill.
Cristiano Ronaldo had his Man United contract terminated last month by mutual consent
Erik ten Hag is keen to add another striker to his squad next month to replace Ronaldo
However, Ten Hag insisted on Saturday that United would only sign a new striker if the right player was available. Sources say the price should also be right, but stressed United wouldn’t go for a cheap option that wouldn’t improve the squad in the long run.
Speaking about the prospect of signing a replacement for Ronaldo next month, Ten Hag said: “Yes, but only when we find the right player.”
“We are doing everything in our power. We research every opportunity and do everything we can if that opportunity arises to contract them. United held talks with PSV over Gakpo in the summer and it is believed they are open to reopening talks.
The 6ft 4in striker, who scored three goals in the Netherlands’ run to the quarter-finals in Qatar, can play wide or as a centre-forward.
United follow PSV and Dutch striker Cody Gakpo after impressive World Cup
The Red Devils are also interested in signing Portuguese striker Goncalo Ramos
Ten Hag, who has already signed three players from Dutch clubs since taking over at United, responded to Gakpo’s speculation by saying: “I cannot comment on specific players.” I will never do that.
“Players have contracts and I respect that, but make sure we work in the background to bring in the right players.” Ramos is another player on Ten Hag’s radar. The 21-year-old netted a hat-trick for Portugal in their 6-1 win over Switzerland in the World Cup round of 16 after replacing Ronaldo, and retained his place in yesterday’s quarter-final against the Morocco.
Ten Hag also believes Anthony Martial will become the complete centre-forward if the Frenchman can stay injury-free.
Martial resurrected his career at Old Trafford under the new manager despite struggling with his hamstrings, Achilles and back during his six months in charge of Ten Hag.
“We’ve seen when he’s available he has a huge impact on our game,” the United boss said.
Ten Hag is confident Anthony Martial can shine in the second half of the season if he stays fit
“He has 350 minutes, four goals and two assists – that’s a very good record. In some parts of his game like pressing, he does a very good job for the team that connects the game. For our team, he is a very important player and we need this profile.
“The first challenge for him is to be available and fit. First, he must be responsible for it, but we must support him in any way possible.
“He was so disappointed he had the injuries. In the past he might have done something wrong, I don’t know, but now it was also bad luck.
“We have to stop the injury process and put him – and he is putting himself – in a better position to be fit and available.” This time last year, Martial was preparing to go on loan to Sevilla as it looked like his time at United was coming to an end.
The former Monaco, who turned 27 this week, was back in Sevilla to lead Ten Hag’s attack on Saturday when United ended their training camp in Spain with a friendly against Real Betis.