Manchester United are eyeing forwards and right-backs ahead of the January transfer window – but there is a significant chance they will not sign anyone next month.
Sky Sports News have been told that PSV Eindhoven striker Cody Gakpo is one of the few strikers United have been interested in.
United held talks to sign Gakpo this summer before pursuing a deal for Antony from Ajax in an £86m deal.
Gakpo impressed at the World Cup when he scored three goals for the Netherlands in Qatar before they were knocked out in the quarter-finals by Argentina on penalties.
United are wary of unrealistic valuations being placed on potential targets in January – especially after a World Cup.
PSV director of football Marcel Brands says any deal for the 23-year-old “must be a record transfer” for the Eredivisie club.
United boss Erik ten Hag has said that United want to bring in a striker, but “only when we find the right player” following Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure last month.
United are also eyeing a number of right-backs, but a move for one is likely to depend on Aaron Wan-Bissaka leaving.
Wan-Bissaka has not been in Ten Hag’s plans after playing four minutes all season with the 25-year-old’s contract expiring in the summer of 2024, although the club have an option to extend by a further year.
United spent over £200m this summer and are conscious of complying with FFP rules.
If a long-term target is not available in the window, a loan move is not out of the question, but United’s primary focus with transfers has always been in the summer window.
Sancho has the full support of the club
Ten Hag has revealed that Jadon Sancho has not been “in the right shape” as he trains away from United’s first team.
Sancho was not named in the squad for United’s mid-season training camp in Spain this month and Ten Hag has admitted his fitness concerns are behind the decision.
The England international, who was left out of Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad after being picked for Euro 2020, has been training in the Netherlands away from the first-team squad with coaches recommended by Ten Hag.
Sky Sports News understands United are continuing to work with Sancho to get him back into action as quickly as possible.
Sancho has the full support of the club as he aims to return to peak physical and mental fitness, but Ten Hag have not given any timescale for the striker’s return.
Ten Hag is calling for more investment during the takeover
United manager Ten Hag believes a change in the ownership structure at the club will be “good” as “more money will be available for this project”.
The Glazer family, who own the club, announced last month that it was open to selling the club but could also bring in new investors and remain in charge at Old Trafford.
Ten Hag confirmed he has spoken to United boss Richard Arnold about possible hierarchical changes and says the goals he is now striving for will not change with new owners.
“We talked about the culture, goals and objectives we want and he confirmed that it will not change. It will be even better because more money will be available for this project,” said Ten Hag.
“My information is that it will only be a good thing because there will be more investment possible, which is good.
“I look at the competition around the Premier League and they all have the opportunity to invest. It’s a tough competition between seven or eight clubs.
“It’s a change in circumstances when you compare it to five or 10 years ago. Newcastle are coming and even West Ham. Maybe not now in the table but they have massive investment. Spurs definitely and then (Manchester) City and Liverpool – I don’t need to talk about them or Chelsea.
“You can quickly count seven or eight clubs that can compete in the league. Even at the bottom I don’t see weak teams, they are all strong. There are no easy games.
“I think it’s also about strategy, not just money. Obviously, when you don’t have the right players and quality players, you won’t succeed and achieve the goals you set. The competition is very tough, so you need the right players.”
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