Manchester United’s ownership reshuffle is yet to land Erik ten Hag with any new signings this January, despite a wave of Old Trafford departures. But there is still time for Sir Jim Ratcliffe and his team of sport specialists to make their mark on the winter window and please supporters with a statement of intent.
INEOS’ 25 per cent buy-in is yet to be formally ratified by the Premier League, but Sir Jim will reportedly be consulted on any major decisions during the January window. Most of them have so far revolved around shedding weight from the squad, rather than adding to it.
Hannibal Mejbri, Donny van de Beek and Alvaro Fernandez have all left on loan deals which could be made permanent. Sergio Reguilon’s temporary switch from Tottenham has been cut short, and Jadon Sancho has returned to Borussia Dortmund for the remainder of the season.
Meanwhile, Ten Hag has not been given the luxury of welcoming any senior arrivals, with Sir Jim believed to be intent on implementing the right people at the top before setting about a major revamp. Financial Fair Play regulations are also understood to have limited the Red Devils this month.
But there is still time for things to burst into life, and Express Sport takes you through two achievable outcomes that would mark a dream end to the January transfer window at Manchester United…
Anthony Martial replaced
The Frenchman is living on borrowed time at Old Trafford, with only five Premier League starts and just one goal to his name this campaign. Now 28 years old and a big presence on the wage bill, United reportedly have no intentions of renewing his contract.
Martial is therefore expected to leave on a free transfer at the end of the season, but that doesn’t prevent United finding his replacement beforehand. Ajax striker Brian Brobbey and Bologna frontman Joshua Zirkzee are both believed to be on Ten Hag’s radar with a view to bringing in support for struggling £72million forward Rasmus Hojlund.
The Brazilian has not scored or assisted in 30 appearances for club and country this season, prompting United to put him in the shop window before his stock plummets any further.
According to the Evening Standard, the Red Devils would accept an eye-watering financial loss if an interested club offered £50m. Saudi Pro League sides are deemed the most likely to bite before the end of the month, and while Sancho is also set to be offered to the Middle East, his prospective move would have to wait until the summer.