ten Hag comments on Man Utd's January transfer plans
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Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag is not impressed with his former club Ajax after they quoted the Red Devils an inflated asking price in exchange for the services of Mohammed Kudus, according to reports. United are thought to be on the lookout for at least one new striker before the end of the January transfer window as Ten Hag aims to improve his forward line after the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo back in November.
The likes of Joao Felix and Marcus Thuram have been linked with United over the last few weeks, with a number of high-profile names said to be under consideration behind closed doors at Old Trafford. Kudus is also believed to have emerged as a target since impressing at the World Cup with Ghana, although it seems likely that United will need to loosen their purse strings in order to stand any chance of getting a deal done.
Ten Hag is eager to land Kudus but has been left frustrated by Ajax’s decision to ask for between £35m and £40m in order to let him leave the Johan Cruyff Arena this month, according to the Daily Star. The United boss believes that his former employers have inflated Kudus’ price tag to an ‘unrealistic’ level in a greedy attempt to cash in off the back of his World Cup showings, with the Red Devils now looking elsewhere for a new man to lead the line for the rest of the season.
Kudus scored two goals in the group stages for Ghana and would have the potential to emerge as a shrewd addition for United, although Ten Hag may be inclined to overlook the 22-year-old in favour of a different option as a result of his hefty asking price. Bayern Munich striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting has also been linked with United over the last few weeks, but it seems as though the German champions would prefer him to sign a new and improved deal to keep him at the Allianz Arena for the foreseeable future.
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Choupo-Moting is not prepared to stick around at Bayern if he is forced to assume a back-up role next season, though, which could play into United’s hands if they decide to promise him regular minutes at Old Trafford. However, it remains to be seen whether Ten Hag will instead decide to sanction a move for Kudus in spite of Ajax requesting a big-money fee in order to let him join the Red Devils before the January window slams shut.
The United boss recently insisted that he will only push ahead for signings if the opportunities are right for the club as a whole, with the Red Devils on the lookout for quality over quantity in their bid to secure a top-four finish in the Premier League at the end of the campaign.
“It is always difficult,” said Ten Hag when quizzed on the possibility of adding a new forward to his squad earlier this month. “Strikers are expensive and especially in the winter, you have to set the limits high and we are looking for it, so maybe we have to be creative.
“But we do everything that we have in our power to get it done and get the right player in who fits the balance of the frontlines. I don’t think you can judge that and rate it because it is about timing, it is about availability, it is about so many circumstances playing a role.”
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