PSV Eindhoven forward Cody Gakpo one of a few forward players Man Utd interested in; a move for a right-back is likely to depend on whether Aaron Wan-Bissaka leaves; Jadon Sancho has full support of the club as he aims to get back to peak physical and mental fitness
Thursday 15 December 2022 07:55, UK
Manchester United are looking at forward players and right-backs ahead of the January transfer window – but there is a significant chance they will not sign anyone next month.
Sky Sports News has been told PSV Eindhoven forward Cody Gakpo is one of a few forward players United have been interested in.
United held talks over signing Gakpo in the summer before pursuing a deal for Antony from Ajax in an £86m deal.
Gakpo impressed at the World Cup as he scored three goals for Netherlands in Qatar before they were knocked out at the quarter-final stage by Argentina on penalties.
United are wary of unrealistic valuations being put on potential targets in January - especially after a World Cup.
PSV director of football Marcel Brands says any deal for the 23-year-old "must be a record transfer" for the Eredivisie club.
United boss Erik ten Hag has said United want to bring in a forward but "only when we find the right player" following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo last month.
United are also keeping an eye on a number of right-backs, but a move for one is likely to depend on whether Aaron Wan-Bissaka leaves.
Wan-Bissaka has not been in Ten Hag's plans having played four minutes all season with the 25-year-old's contract up in the summer of 2024, although the club have an option to extend for a further year.
United spent over £200m in the summer and are conscious of complying with FFP rules.
If a long-term target is not available in the window, a loan move has not been ruled out, but United's primary focus with transfers has always been in the summer window.
Ten Hag has revealed Jadon Sancho has not been "in the right fitness state" as he trains away from the United first team.
Sancho was not named in the squad for United's mid-season training camp to Spain this month and Ten Hag has admitted his fitness concerns are behind this decision.
The England international, who was left out of Gareth Southgate's World Cup squad after being picked for Euro 2020, has been training in the Netherlands away from the first-team squad with coaches recommended by Ten Hag.
Sky Sports News understands United continue to work with Sancho to get him back in action as quickly as possible.
Sancho has the full support of the club as he aims to get back to peak physical and mental fitness but Ten Hag has not given a time scale for the forward's return.
United manager Ten Hag believes a change in the ownership structure at the club would be "good" as "more money will become available for this project".
The Glazer family which owns the club announced last month that it is open to selling the club, but could also bring in new investors and remain in charge at Old Trafford.
Ten Hag confirmed that he has spoken to United chief executive Richard Arnold about any potential hierarchy changes and says the objectives he is currently striving for will not change with new owners.
"We spoke about the culture, objectives and goals we want, and he confirmed it won't change. It will be even better because more money will become available for this project," Ten Hag said.
"My information is that it will only be a good thing because there will be more investment possible, which is good.
"I look at the competition around the Premier League and they all have the opportunity to invest. It's a tough competition between seven or eight clubs.
"That's a change in circumstances when you compare it with five or 10 years ago. Newcastle are coming and even West Ham. Maybe not now in the table, but they have huge investment. Spurs definitely and then (Manchester) City and Liverpool - I don't need to talk about them or Chelsea.
"You can quickly count seven or eight clubs that can compete in the league. Even at the bottom, I don't see weak teams, they're all strong. There are no easy games.
"I think it's also about strategy, not just money. It's clear that when you don't have the right players and quality players, you will not be successful and achieve the targets you set. The competition is really tough so you need the right players."
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