ten Hag comments on Man Utd's January transfer plans
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Manchester United fans have made their feelings clear in that Joao Felix is the most popular candidate to replace Cristiano Ronaldo this January. According to Express Sport readers, the Glazers pursuing a reunion with former Red Devil Memphis Depay is not what the majority of supporters are after, despite his strong goal-scoring form in recent years.
United have been in need of a new attacker since Cristiano Ronaldo saw his contract terminated by mutual agreement following a controversial interview with Talk TV host Piers Morgan, during which he lashed out at the club and manager Erik ten Hag.
With the five-time Ballon d’Or winner now getting comfortable at Saudi Arabian side Al-Nassr, Ten Hag is still short of firepower up top and a number of options are thought to be on the table. According to a poll conducted by Express Sport, just under half of the 5,686 respondents want to see Felix drafted in by the Glazers as an extra option through the middle this campaign.
Atletico Madrid chief Miguel Angel Gil Marin has already admitted that the 23-year-old wants to leave and a fall-out with boss Diego Simeone means it is virtually certain that he will leave the Spanish capital before the end of January.
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United are among the clubs showing an interest but they may ultimately be put off by Atletico’s extortionate loan demands. The Red Devils are thought to have offered £3.5million to take him for the rest of the season but the Rojiblancos supposedly want up to £13m for the short-term arrangement.
The former Golden Boy winner cost Atletico a whopping £113m back in 2019 but he has never hit double figures in a La Liga campaign at the Metropolitano. With five attacking candidates to choose from, Express Sport readers selected Felix’s compatriot, Rafael Leao, as their next favourite option to replace Ronaldo.
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Leao made a telling impact off the bench at the World Cup with Portugal and he has been in superb form with AC Milan this season, notching 11 goal contributions in just 15 Serie A games. The likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Real Madrid are also credited with interest in the 23-year-old but the Rossoneri wouldn’t let him go on the cheap, which likely leaves him out of reach during the winter window.
Third in the vote was Depay, who spent one-and-a-half seasons at Old Trafford earlier in his career with only two Premier League goals to show for it. The Dutchman has since found success with Lyon and, more recently, Barcelona but Xavi currently deems him surplus to requirement and he has barely seen the pitch this term.
Despite scoring 12 goals in La Liga last season, only 13.5 per cent of respondents want to see United swoop for Depay, who would be available on the cheap. Coming in just behind the Barcelona outcast is Marko Arnautovic, who was seemingly on his way to United during the summer before the club pulled out of the move on account of a negative reaction from supporters.
Arnautovic will be 34 years old by the end of the season but his goal-scoring prowess is showing no sign of slowing down, with eight in 14 league matches this term. In dead last with just 11 per cent of the vote is Alvaro Morata, who scored three times at the World Cup but clearly doesn’t have the respect of the Red Devils faithful after his underwhelming spell with Chelsea.
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