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Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is desperate for a new striker in January after terminating Cristiano Ronaldo’s contract. A host of top European talent has been linked with a move to Old Trafford, including Joao Felix, Alvaro Morata, Rafael Leao and Memphis Depay.
However, the Glazers are trying to sell the club so Ten Hag may not get the backing he requires in the winter window. The Dutchman may have to find a temporary solution while the takeover takes place.
United only have Anthony Martial as a recognised senior striker but Marcus Rashford could also play through the middle if need be. Ten Hag recently said: “Two things. Impulse can come out of our own club, see Garnacho, see Elanga, see Pellistri, who made a good impression at the World Cup and also in training. That is first.
“Second, yes, we are aware we lost a striker, so I think we have to get a striker in, but it has to be the right one.
“The right one is a player that brings quality to the team, not just adding to the squad because that only gives you problems. And, you know the criteria is high here at Manchester United.”
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Benfica make Fernandez statement
United are among the clubs being linked with a move for Enzo Fernandez following the midfielder’s stunning performances for Argentina at the World Cup.
But his club Benfica have made a statement following reports that their president Rui Costa suggested he could be sold in January.
It read: "SL Benfica clarifies that at no time did the President of the Club, Rui Costa, utter the words that are being circulated in Italy by DAZN.
"Sport Lisboa e Benfica reiterates its intention to count on the player Enzo Fernandez until the end of the season."
Maguire pays tribute to Pele
Harry Maguire is among those to pay tribute to Pele following the announcement that the Brazilian legend has died at the age of 82.
Maguire took to Twitter to write: “Rest in peace Pele, one of the greatest ever. What a role model on and off the pitch. Winner of 3 World Cups, unbelievable.”
Pele has died at the age of 82 (Image: Getty)
Lingard told to apologise to United
Jesse Lingard ‘wasn’t good enough’ to play for Manchester United and should ‘apologise’ for how he portrayed his summer exit, according to former Red Devils defender Paul Parker.
There were no hard feelings when he returned to M16 in Nottingham Forest’s 3-0 defeat earlier this week, but Parker believes Lingard’s accusations of disrespect were hypocritical.
He told BonusBetCodes: “Jesse Lingard wasn’t disrespected at all at Man United, and for him to say that is totally wrong.
“He is a local boy, and now he is disrespecting the club instead of looking himself in the mirror. Jesse wasn’t good enough to play for Man United, and he needs to acknowledge that instead of coming up with accusations about the club.”
Karim Benzema is hoping for a bumper pay rise and a two-year contract at Real Madrid amid links with Manchester United and Arsenal , according to reports in Spain.
That is according to El Nacional , who claim Real president Florentino Perez remains 'calm' about the situation.
However, Benzema wants to be properly remunerated for his form in the Spanish capital. If he is not, he could seek a departure.
Man Utd know Casemiro successor
Manchester United fans drooling over Casemiro’s performances since joining in a £70million deal this year also ponder the worrying question: ‘How on earth can Erik ten Hag replace him?’
The Dutchman has reportedly discovered his ideal successor and could return to Spain to recruit him.
According to Mundo Deportivo , United are interested in signing Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi.
Ten Hag is a huge admirer of the 23-year-old Spaniard, who impressed against his side in the Europa League group stage.
Man Utd want Benzema
Man Utd have been named as one of two Premier League clubs interested in signing Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema.
Catalan newspaper El Nacional say the Frenchman is stalling on contract talks in the Spanish capital because they are not meeting his demands of a two-year deal and a significant pay rise.
This is reportedly set to open the door for United and Arsenal to table their proposal.
And it is said Erik ten Hag will ask Casemiro and Raphael Varane to put in a good word with their former Real team-mate.
Man Utd ‘seriously considering’ Kim
Man Utd are ‘seriously considering’ a move for Napoli defender Kim Min-jae, according to reports in Italy.
Kim starred for South Korea at the World Cup and his relatively cheap release clause, which starts at £44m and rises to £70m, has attracted interest from some of Europe’s biggest clubs.
Napoli are hoping to offer the centre-back a new contract in a bid to keep the heavyweights at bay, according to Corriere dello Sport.
And they must look to do so before July 1 as that is when the release clause becomes active.
De Boer verdict on Gakpo
Dutch Champions League winner Ronald de Boer has delivered his verdict on Cody Gakpo snubbing a move to Man Utd in favour of Liverpool.
“I think it's important for him, he's better when he starts on the left and comes inside,” De Boer told talkSPORT.
“I think Liverpool plays a little bit like that, I remember [Luis] Diaz playing there, who is also by the way an exceptional talent.
“So when he is fit he will have to fight for that spot. In the meanwhile, he [Gakpo] can grow in that role, I think Liverpool needs a player like that on that side at the moment. I think for me, this is the best choice he could have made at this moment.”
Fernandez could move in January
Benfica president Rui Costa has confirmed that Enzo Fernandez will be allowed to move in January, with Man Utd, Chelsea and Liverpool in the hunt.
He told DAZN: “We don't want to give up Enzo Fernandez in January, but we are willing to please the boy in the event of a €120 million offer.”
Chelsea are thought to be leading the race for the World Cup winner.
David wants Prem move
Lille forward Jonathan David has once again expressed his desire to play in the Premier League, with Man Utd recently linked with the attacker.
In an interview with La Voic du Nord, the 22-year-old said: “In England, when I watch the matches, everything is full each time. As a player, it motivates you even more.
“I don’t know, I think it’s possible, very possible. I don’t know if I can find myself anywhere other than the Premier League. It could well be the Premier League. It’s a very nice atmosphere.”
Man Utd eye Morata
Manchester United are considering a loan move for ex-Chelsea man Alvaro Morata, according to reports.
ESPN claim Erik ten Hag is frustrated at missing out on Cody Gakpo, who has joined Liverpool.
And they say the Dutchman has now turned his attention to Morata as United look to get business done on the cheap in January.
Man Utd want Martin Terrier
Man Utd are reportedly interested in signing Rennes forward Martin Terrier to solve their crisis up front.
The 25-year-old scored 21 goals last season and is well on course to match his record this year, having netted 11 times in all competitions.
Terrier was close to making the France World Cup squad and was available for just £30million in the summer.
Chelsea are desperate to beat Man Utd to the signing of World Cup winner Enzo Fernandez and they are willing to pay Benfica more than the £105million release clause, according to reports in Portugal.
The Glazers are planning to sell the club in the first quarter of 2023 and are therefore not willing to put any cash into January transfers, according to David Ornstien.
He told NBC Sport: "I don't think there's much money to spend at Manchester United so I don't want to disappoint fans but it's most likely going to have to be a loan deal (striker signings).
"Interestingly, they had admiration for Cody Gakpo, they almost signed him in the summer window, Erik ten Hag is a massive fan, but United are focused on a central striker for January and they see Gakpo as primarily a wide forward. Therefore, they also are looking at someone like Joao Felix if they can do that loan deal.
"There'll be a number of other options as well but I think we need to remember with the United sale here, the Raine Group who are in charge of this process, they're aiming for a complete sale of Manchester United in the first quarter of 2023 and therefore the Glazer family are not going to be willing to sanction a massive outlay of cash on deals at this time of the year."
Simeone gives Felix update
Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has insisted that he needs to keep hold of Joao Felix in the January window, despite the forward having been offered around to several clubs.
"We have a good working relationship," he insisted.
"Since I have been at the club I have never left, beyond some differences that exist between people, and we can't agree on everything, and I have looked for what is best for the club until the last day.
"Everyone is giving their maximum. What matters to me is the team and he [Felix] is important to the team. If he gives us what we saw in the World Cup, he will be very important. He has the condition and the talent and the team need his qualities."
Good morning and welcome to Express Sport’s updates as Manchester United prepare for what could be a busy January transfer window.
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