PREMIER LEAGUE

Dutch duo top the Manchester United shopping list in January

Manchester United
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Erik ten Hag spent around £220 million following his arrival at Manchester United, securing five key additions to the first team squad last summer. Now the Dutchman is looking to continue his overhaul with further additions, making the January transfer window an ideal opportunity to secure more important signings.

Extra funds are now available following the acrimonious departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, fuelling increased expectations that United will be busy in the transfer market. Indeed, odds for certain deals are already present at the top online betting sites, based upon detailed SBO reviews covering the most popular football wagering markets available, highlighting where the most competitive odds and promotions can be found.

Weighing up the best options available is also the focus for Manchester United, particularly following the acrimonious departure of Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo. This has made additional funds available to spend in the winter transfer market, increasing speculation surrounding potential targets. Currently in the spotlight are two Dutch possibilities, as Erik ten Hag aims to bring in talented young players with the desire to succeed.

Top quality forward is the priority target

During the group stage at the World Cup, 23-year-old Gakpo has emerged as one of the genuine contenders for the Golden Boot award, scoring in each of the three games played by the Netherlands as they progressed to the Round of 16. But despite being strongly linked with a switch to Manchester United, the calibre of his performances will have inevitably attracted attention elsewhere.

The Red Devils were already weighing up a move for Gakpo last summer, but prioritised the deal for Brazilian forward Antony from Ajax instead, although the player has revealed that Erik ten Hag maintained regular contact afterwards. Now it seems that United will make securing a deal for Gakpo their top January priority, reportedly locked in talks with his agents regarding personal terms, and already negotiating the transfer fee with PSV Eindhoven.

According to Transfermarkt estimates, the current market value of Cody Gakpo values the player at around €45 million. However, given his excellent performances at the World Cup, it seems likely that PSV will drive a hard bargain for one of their most prized assets. This would suggest that United will need to pay upwards of €50 million for the talented forward.

Erik ten Hag eager to strengthen at right-back

Seemingly unsatisfied with the current options available, Erik ten Hag appears keen to land a new right-back in the January window, indicating that Aaron Wan-Bissaka could be heading for the Old Trafford exit door, having made just one appearance during the 2022-23 campaign to date. Portugal international Diego Dalot is the clear first choice, having played 20 games in all competitions, although that position will also need to be reliably challenged.

Given that Wan-Bissaka is expected to leave, the United boss has already earmarked his ideal right-back replacement, shortlisting Jeremie Frimpong as the preferred candidate. The 21-year-old Dutch international has already expressed interest, while reports in Germany claim that Bayer Leverkusen are prepared to accelerate talks with the Premier League giants.

Frimpong is currently at the 2022 FIFA World Cup with the Netherlands, albeit without playing in any of the three group stage games, watching on from the bench as the team secured their passage to the knockout phase. That could be a boon for Manchester United, as they prepare to haggle with Bayer Leverkusen, albeit once the tournament in Qatar is over.

Long-term vision the key for United

While the immediate objective will be improving the current squad options, as Manchester United look towards finishing within the top four this season, Erik ten Hag is undoubtedly working hard to lay strong foundations for the future. The Dutch coach is focusing on rising stars in European football, exclusively targeting players who are keen to improve under his tutelage, as he seeks to bring the Red Devils long-term sustainable success.

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