Such is the rebuilding job that new Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag took over when he was appointed in April that despite the over £200million summer splurge, quite a few gaps remain to be filled.
And as pointed out by former interim manager Ralf Rangnick, it will take a few more transfer windows to fix all the issues affecting the club.
As far as the January window is concerned, the club’s initial plan was to focus on getting a back-up right-back as competition for the ever-present Diogo Dalot.
Despite the obvious need for a striker, the club were prepared to wait until next summer before embarking on that particular saga due to the costs involved and the club’s current financial condition.
Striker needed at United
But after the acrimonious departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, Ten Hag has publicly admitted that his side are short of firepower up front and need to bring in a quality replacement.
One name that has been in the running since the summer has been Benfica ace Goncalo Ramos. And according to ESPN, “Manchester United are set to make an enquiry about the availability of Benfica striker Goncalo Ramos ahead of the January window.”
Manchester United are set to make an enquiry about the availability of Benfica striker Goncalo Ramos, sources have told ESPN 🇵🇹 pic.twitter.com/mNIsOk5fLv
— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) December 14, 2022
But it will not be easy to get a deal for the 21-year-old over the line due to the club’s current financial conditions which were exacerbated after the summer splurge.
Ramos was initially valued at €20 million before the start of the season but his Round of 16 hat-trick for Portugal against Switzerland in the World Cup has ensured his price has gone up significantly.
Ramos price rise could cost United
And that is where ESPN deliver the worst news of them all. Sources have indicated to the website that despite Ten Hag believing that “the squad is short of firepower following Ronaldo’s exit and would like the club to explore whatever options are available, manager Erik ten Hag has been told it is not certain a striker will arrive next month.”
Club sources have indicated that “there are significant budget constraints as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and a higher than expected outlay on transfers last summer.”
It remains to be seen if the club actively pursues any strikers in January following this very concerning update.
It is very evident that United need a striker as they are the second-lowest scoring team in the top half of the Premier League, an issue that could end up costing United and Ten Hag in the long run.