Erik ten Hag is already at work on phase two of his Old Trafford reconstruction plans. The United manager was able to spend well over £200 million during the summer transfer window, with six new players arriving. However, the task is far from finished, with another hectic transfer window coming in January.
The signing of a new striker is at the top of Ten Hag’s priority list. With Cristiano Ronaldo leaving, the team is looking for another forward to replace his goals. While Ronaldo has not been a regular this season, his 24 goals last season show how crucial he was to the cause.
To that aim, the club is apparently working hard to bring in a prolific striker in a transaction that might establish a club record.
Furthermore, the United manager is hoping to sign a new right-back. This week, TEAMtalk exclusively learned that Aaron Wan-Bissaka will be allowed to go, with two Premier League clubs vying for his services.
Later on, Ten Hag will have to make a crucial decision on the United goalkeeping issue.
David De Gea’s contract is set to expire in the summer, although the club has a one-year option. However, with Ronaldo’s departure, De Gea is now the club’s highest earning. According to sources, he earns an estimated £350,000 per week.
And, as it becomes clear that he is not totally suited to Ten Hag’s style of football, reports suggest he may be allowed to leave.
Unai Simon’s ties to Manchester United have been discussed.
Indeed, the long-serving Manchester United goalkeeper has been linked with a move to Juventus. If he is given a transfer, clubs in his own country will most certainly come knocking.
If this is his final season at Old Trafford, United is apparently looking into a number of prospective successors.
Unai Simon, the Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper who deposed De Gea as Spain’s No. 1 earlier this week, was also linked with a move to United.
The Basque outfit values Simon at between £30m and £40m. As a result, any transaction would not be cheap, yet he would be within their grasp if they pursued his signature.
However, trusted reporter Romano has minimized the possibility of such a shift. And the Italian says he doesn’t expect much activity in the goalkeeper market during the winter transfer window.
“To be honest, I’m not aware of any discussions between Manchester United and Unai Simon or his agents,” he told Caught Offside.
“I think he’s a very excellent goalie, but the goalkeeper market, in general, is pretty quiet right now.” It’s always a domino effect for goalkeepers, and I don’t see much changing in January.”
That is not to suggest Simon will not be on their radar come summer. United, on the other hand, are unlikely to make a choice on their goalie until the end of the season. Ten Hag’s priorities in January are likely to be on other positions. As a result, De Gea will be able to finish the season at least in the Manchester United goal.