Manchester United will be holding “talks behind the scenes” over a January move for a new striker.
That is according to Sky Sports transfer insider Dharmesh Sheth, who told Give Me Sport the following:
“At the end of the day, you’ve got a situation where the striker that they’ve got there, in Cristiano Ronaldo, is not getting any younger.
“We all know that. We know how brilliant he is but he’s not getting any younger and it seems that the way that Erik ten Hag wants to play, particularly in the Premier League, is not suited to how Ronaldo wants to play.
“I’m sure there will be talks behind the scenes for Manchester United along the lines of ‘yes, we do want to strengthen in that area.’ Whether they’d be able to do something in January is a completely different question.”
Erik ten Hag has not been able to rely on Cristiano Ronaldo this season, with the striker initially searching for a move away from Old Trafford over the summer.
He has subsequently started in just one league match this season – an ill-fated trip to Brentford that saw United lose 4-0.
Since that result, Ronaldo has taken on the role of a Europa League option and was largely unimpressive in each tie.
The legendary goalscorer managed only to net a penalty against Sheriff Tiraspol and looked completely off the pace against Real Sociedad.
He failed to register a shot on target from open play in either of those matches.
Ronaldo’s performances from the bench in the Premier League have also been barren in that regard, with no shots on target across 107 minutes of football since the Brentford match.
And even on the international stage, where Ronaldo is still the undisputed top dog, he has been unconvincing of late, spurning chances against Spain and failing to trouble the goalkeeper against the Czech Republic.
With his ineffectiveness becoming more and more of a concern, a new striker is the clear priority for a United side that only managed to add one attacker to its dwindling list of options over the summer.
And while Sheth is unsure of United’s capabilities in enacting an acquisition in January, United fans will hope that those talks lead to action.
The Red Devils are currently on a four-game winning streak, but it is notable that three of those wins were by one-goal margins, with United players failing to score in either loss at the season’s beginning.
A clinical forward, and ideally one who could offer physicality up top, could make a huge difference to Ten Hag’s attempts to instil his vision at Old Trafford.
The profile of players targeted over the summer certainly seems to suggest that the Man United hierarchy are acutely aware of Ten Hag’s needs up front.
Benjamin Sesko and Victor Osimhen were among their considerations, while a late bid for Ivan Toney was also mooted.
Toney may look a little more realistic than those two, however it has been a long time since shopping in the Premier League was a road to good value, particularly for Manchester United.
John Murtough and co could look to players coming to the end of their contracts as they hunt for doable deals in the winter window, with both Moussa Dembele of Olympique Lyon and Memphis Depay of FC Barcelona coming into the last six months of their deals in January.
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