Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag confirmed yesterday that the club are searching for a new striker following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo last month.
The club have been linked with various options in the transfer market but it is reported that the hierarchy will resist moving for a bargain signingat the turn of the year.
With this in mind, here are three high-profile players they could target in January.
Cody Gakpo – PSV Eindhoven
Gakpo was a top target for United last summer but a transfer failed to materialise after their huge outlay on Antony. The Red Devils have revived their interest ahead of January and he could be signed for around €75 million.
The Dutchman has been a revelation for club and country this term. He has bagged a stunning 13 goals and 17 assists from just 24 outings for PSV. Gakpo was also superb at the World Cup, scoring three goals in the process.
He has generally played as a left winger for PSV but can also operate from the number 10 and centre-forward positions. It has been reported that the 23-year-old would like to play as a strikerif he joins the Red Devils.
Goncalo Ramos – Benfica
Ramos was on the radar of the Red Devils earlier this summer and it was claimed few months ago that they could prise him away from Benfica for €40m in January. However, that price has now doubled after his World Cup campaign.
The 21-year-old was a regular on the bench in the group stage but showed his full potential against Switzerland in the round of 16 phase, bagging a hat-trick as well as an assist. It was a complete performance from the striker.
United won’t be alone in the pursuit of the highly-rated star in January but the big question is whether Benfica would sell him. The Primeira outfit are planning to keep him and talks are already underway over a new long-term contract.
Jonathan David – Lille
The Canadian star has been linked with a Premier League move on multiple occasions and he could make the switch in January. The 22-year-old has had a good season with Lille, registering nine goals and three assists from 15 appearances.
United have been closely watching him in actionover the past few months and he could be a realistic target for January. The former Gent youngster would be available for a cheaper price than Gakpo and Ramos at the turn of the year.
Lille are prepared to listen to offers in the region of €50m. The Red Devils could face competition from Arsenal, who are also eyeing a new striker after Gabriel Jesus’ injury. United may need to move fast if they want to secure David’s services.
Man Utd are one of the sides to have been linked with a move to sign Joao Felix in the January transfer window.
Joao Felix insists that he is fully focused on the World Cup with Portugal, amid reports linking him with a move to Manchester United next year.
The 23-year-old could leave Atletico Madrid in January after a breakdown in his working relationship with manager Diego Simeone.
Atletico spent a whopping €126 million on the Portuguese forward three years ago and would be looking to recoup as much of that as possible if Felix is sold next year.
The huge price tag has seen United linked with a move as they go in search of a new attacker, but Felix insists he is committed to the World Cup rather than discussing his future.
“I’m completely focused on the World Cup,” he told reporters on Tuesday. “My agent doesn’t tell me anything about what’s going to happen, nor does he want to. I need to be focused on the now to play a great tournament”.
However, Felix did appear to hint that he would be happier away from Atletico if an opportunity were to arise. He added: “The way of playing with Portugal and then at the club is different. When the conditions are favourable, things go better.
Speaking earlier this week, Atletico CEO Gil Marin admitted it might be in the player’s best interest to leave the club next year.
“He is the biggest bet this club has taken in its history. I personally think he’s a top talent, a world class player,” he told TVE . “For reasons it isn’t worth getting into – the relationship between him and the boss, the minutes played, his motivation right now – it makes you think that the reasonable thing is that if there’s an option that’s good for the player, good for the club, we can look at it. I’d love him to stay personally, but I don’t think that’s the player’s idea.