Having the record of being the second-lowest goal-scorers in the top-half of the Premier League table is not something Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is proud of.
Following the acrimonious departure of last season’s top goal-scorer Cristiano Ronaldo, the need to address this situation has become glaringly obvious.
United’s desperate need to strengthen up front
But the club’s finances are stretched at the moment due to the Glazers potentially selling the club and because of the exorbitant summer splurge.
That has left very little room for manoeuvre, with loan deals the only possible course of action in January.
Trapped in an equally uncomfortable situation is former Manchester United attacker Memphis Depay.
He returned to Barcelona after a commendable World Cup where he got on the scoresheet once and lead the line well for the Netherlands.
Manchester United are hoping to bring in a forward during the transfer window, but they don't want to break the bank.
Memphis Depay, once of #MUFC, is a potential option; the Dutchman has just six months left on his contract with Barcelona and would be available for a cut-price.
— The Athletic | Football (@TheAthleticFC) January 3, 2023
But Xavi still does not trust him which was evident when the 28-year-old was left rotting on the bench against Espanyol. The striker is aware that the most he can get is minutes in cup competitions.
“The Dutchman does not understand his ostracism despite the fact that he looks fitter than other footballers with minutes and is starting to get tired because he believes that his substitution does not come due to sporting criteria,” a report in SPORT revealed.
The situation has been further complicated due to the Catalan giants’ financial woes. While they were open to letting the striker leave for free in the summer, they now expect a transfer fee in January.
Depay’s struggles at Barca could lead to January exit
“The problem is that the Dutchman wants to maintain his current salary and that could only happen by leaving with the letter of freedom or on loan until the end of the contract,” the report added.
The striker has received interest from several teams ranging from Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea in England to Juventus and Roma in the Serie A.
Considering his contract ends in 2023, not many clubs would be willing to pay a transfer fee to secure his signing.
It will be interesting to see how this situation unfolds. While Depay would serve as a perfect short-term signing, Ten Hag will have the final say regarding any incomings.
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