Man Utd must be ‘creative’ to sign striker

Erik ten Hag has said Manchester United will have to be “creative” if they want to sign a striker in January.

Ten Hag is keen to bring in a replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo, who left Old Trafford during the break for the World Cup.

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A lack of available funds meant United missed out on Cody Gakpo, who has joined Liverpool from PSV Eindhoven, and the club are looking at short-term options instead, including signing a forward on loan until the end of the season.

“It’s always difficult, strikers are expensive, especially in the winter,” Ten Hag said. But you have to set the limits high.

“We’re looking for it, we need to be creative and do everything we have in our power to get the right players in, who are fitting in the balance.”

Ronaldo’s departure means Ten Hag has just Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford available as recognised senior strikers in the squad.

Speaking ahead of the trip to Wolves on Saturday, the Dutchman was asked to rate United’s chances of signing a striker in January but the 52-year-old said he would only judge the window after the deadline.

“I don’t think you can rate it because it is about timing, it’s also about availability,” Ten Hag added.

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“It’s about so many circumstances playing a role in that. It’s now December and the window has not even started. It’s a long period.”

Ten Hag’s issues up front have been exacerbated by Jadon Sancho’s dip in form. The England winger has been given time away from the club and did not take part in the training camp held during the World Cup.

Sancho hasn’t featured since a 1-1 draw at Chelsea on Oct. 22 but Ten Hag said he is nearing a comeback.

“The time is coming but the time is not now,” Ten Hag said.

“But he is making progress and we will see when he is ready to return to the squad. He is back in Manchester and will start individual training.”