Man Utd's next six Premier League fixtures
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Just like in January 2020, Manchester United need a new striker. Joao Felix, Alvaro Morata and Memphis Depay have all been linked with moves to Old Trafford in recent times but, for now, there seems to be little movement when it comes to the trio. So, with that the case, it’s possible the Red Devils will spring a surprise – just like they’ve done with Alexis Sanchez and Casemiro in recent years.
Manchester United thought they’d be able to postpone any pursuit of a new striker until the end of the season after the transfer window closed back in the summer.
But Cristiano Ronaldo’s sudden departure has forced their hand and, now, the Red Devils are on the lookout for a new marksman.
Several names are being linked, with United searching for a forward who can do a job until the end of the campaign.
Signing Felix from Atletico Madrid would require investment, while it’s a similar story with Alvaro Morata – who previously flopped on these shores at Chelsea.
And though Depay can be a good player on his day, the fact he’s previously struggled at United may deter them from pondering a return.
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Given how Paul Pogba and Ronaldo’s second stints at Old Trafford have worked out in recent years, that isn’t beyond the realms of possibility.
United do, however, have a track record when it comes to signing players out of the blue. Therefore, reinforcing their attack with no prior warning isn’t completely unimaginable.
Take Romelu Lukaku, for example.
Many actually expected United to sign Alvaro Morata back in the summer transfer window of 2017, shortly after Jose Mourinho had missed out on Antoine Griezmann.
Yet the Red Devils stunned everybody by signing Lukaku from Everton instead, forking out a huge £75million for the Belgium international.
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United managed to do the deal under the radar, at a time where Chelsea had previously been considered frontrunners in the race to land the forward.
Back in January 2018, the Red Devils again sprung another surprise with many expecting Sanchez to leave Arsenal for Manchester City.
City had come close to acquiring the forward mere months previously, whereas United weren’t even really being linked.
But the Red Devils managed to sign Sanchez discreetly, though the forward would end up being a dud and was offloaded by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer 18 months later following a mere five goals.
Even back in the summer, United demonstrated they still had the potential to stun in the transfer market.
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Having pursued Frenkie de Jong aggressively, it looked as though they were then going to land Adrien Rabiot from Juventus as an alternative.
But, out of nowhere, Casemiro arrived instead – with the Brazil international since becoming an undroppable asset in Ten Hag’s system.
Now, United fans are starting to panic.
Having watched Liverpool steal Cody Gakpo from under their noses, they’re fearing the Red Devils won’t have anything up their sleeve.
But history, and the deals for Lukaku, Sanchez and Casemiro, all suggests otherwise.
Ten Hag, meanwhile, refused to be drawn on Gakpo when quizzed about United’s failure to land the Netherlands international.
“I don’t talk about individual cases,” said the 52-year-old. “We are looking for offensive players, looking for a striker, that would be good because we have so many games coming.
“We want to keep playing in all the competitions we are in, we want to keep going to the end of the season so you need numbers to keep competing.”
And he also said: “We are always in the market but it has to match the sporting criteria and the financial criteria.
“We do what we can to bring in the player we need.”
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