Erik ten Hag is aware of the need to strengthen up front if Manchester United are to have a successful season. So far, the numbers are woefully short and the Dutchman is saddled with players who have not impressed when played up top.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s uncertain future coupled with the fact that he is short of match fitness having missed a large chunk of pre-season has added to the former Ajax boss’ woes.
Marcus Rashford has rarely shined when played as the lone striker while Martial’s injury record and inconsistency does not inspire the greatest of confidence.
Ten Hag’s initial plan was to go after Brazilian winger Antony in a bid to play a fluid front three, with everyone capable of switching roles. Ajax’s extremely high valuation has put paid to those hopes.
🚨 𝐁𝐑𝐄𝐀𝐊𝐈𝐍𝐆: Manchester United were in talks with Timo Werner about a transfer before he decided to re-join RB Leipzig.
Erik Ten Hag was keen on working with the German striker.
— Transfer News Live (@DeadlineDayLive) August 10, 2022
Cody Gakpo has emerged as the latest alternative but no headway has been made in that deal so far with the transfer window closing in less than three weeks.
Werner rejected United
Recent reports had linked the Red Devils with Marko Arnautovic but fan backlash meant the club had to withdraw from the highly divisive deal.
And now according to Bild reporter Christian Falk, the Premier League giants had also tried to sign Chelsea reject Timo Werner. They were in negotiations with the German striker but he opted to move to former club RB Leipzig instead of choosing Old Trafford.
Werner was a huge success for the Die Roten Bullen, scoring 95 goals in 159 appearances between 2016 and 2020. That had prompted the Blues to fork out £54 million on the 26-year-old but the move to England did not pan out the way both parties would have hoped.
The VfB Stuttgart academy product just could not cut it in the Premier League and even became a meme for his penchant for missing easy chances. But his work-rate and pace would have suited Ten Hag’s system.
In his two seasons for the London club, the German international could only muster 23 goals in 89 appearances across all competitions.
With his return sealed to the Bundesliga, Ten Hag has missed out on yet another target to add more firepower. United have already lost Edinson Cavani on a free and with four competitions to contend with, they need squad depth and fast.
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