With Erik ten Hag at the helm, Manchester United are slowly but surely on their way up with the club currently three points off fourth place with a game in hand.
The addition of Lisandro Martinez has transformed the defence while Casemiro and Christian Eriksen have added steel and guile to the centre of the park. But it is upfront where problems have continued to persist.
Marcus Rashford has been a breath of fresh air this season, and is the club’s top scorer. But his profligacy when clean through on goal shows there is work that needs to be done to improve his finishing.
United need a striker
Anthony Martial‘s goals-to-minutes ratio is impressive but injury woes have restricted him to only two starts in the Premier League and three overall in 21 games across all competitions.
Cristiano Ronaldo‘s unceremonious exit from the club after his incendiary interview has meant that plans to recruit an elite top-scorer next summer have been needed to be preponed to January.
A variety of names have been linked with the Red Devils with Cody Gakpo and Joao Felix among the front-runners. But due to the club’s over £200 million splurge in the summer, available funds are expected to be low.
Both PSV Eindhoven and Atletico Madrid are planning to up their asking prices for their star players after seeing their World Cup displays.
Barca banking on WC for Depay sale
Memphis Depay of Barcelona might be United’s next best option. The Dutchman’s contract is set to expire in the summer of 2023 and the Catalan giants will be more than happy to let him go in the winter considering his high wages.
According to AS, “Barça sees in his performances in the World Cup a wonderful market share to be able to offer as soon as he opens up to new transfer window.”
The 28-year-old striker, who is second in the list of top international goal scorers for his country, will be free to speak to foreign clubs regarding a summer transfer, something Barcelona want to avoid.
And they feel that his World Cup displays might help them get a solid transfer fee in for a player they got for free.
Xavi does not have the former United star in his plans and would be happy to add a player on the right flank for the money acquired from his sale.
Among the interested parties are United, Sevilla and Serie A giants Roma. Depay is said to be entertaining the possibility of a move only to an elite club and his United connection could tilt things in Ten Hag’s favour.
It remains to be seen whether United would be willing to pay a large fee for Depay. Barcelona are aware of the fact that the Reds have shown the most interest in a possible transfer.