Manchester United are more likely to sign a striker on loan rather than a permanent deal in the January window, with the focus on the summer market as is the club’s usual policy.
The news comes after Liverpool agreed a deal with PSV to sign Cody Gakpo for an initial fee of £37m next month, having been considered by Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag the Dutch forward as a possible replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo, who parted ways. with United during the World Cup.
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One option United explored regarding Gakpo is understood to be a loan payment plus a commitment to buy the player in the summer, but it was not as attractive to PSV as Liverpool’s willingness to buy him directly. Ronaldo’s departure means United have saved around £10m in wages that would have been paid to the Portuguese by the budget to sign a striker for Ten Hag. But funding for any new signings remains very limited at the club, and his owners, the Glazers, have given notice that he is up for sale if a suitable offer is received.
While Gakpo’s fee, which could rise to £50m, could have been met by United, the club failed to make a firm bid for the 23-year-old, allowing Liverpool to move quickly in his signature. Ten Hag needs to add a proven goalscorer to his squad as United have scored just 20 times in the Premier League. Marcus Rashford is their top scorer with four goals.
While Ten Hag and John Murtough, United’s director of football, continue to assess striking options for potential recruitment in the winter window, any new additions are expected to be temporary rather than major long-term signings , the club happy with the 230 million pounds invested last summer.
João Félix is a name that would have interested United, with the Portuguese striker seemingly unhappy at Atletico Madrid, but even his loan fee is likely to be too expensive in this window. The club have all but ruled out a new bid to sign Bologna striker Marko Arnautovic, who Ten Hag assessed in the summer.