Manchester United’s transfer plans have taken a massive hit as it has emerged that they were forced to pull out of a move for Cody Gakpo due to financial reasons this January, throwing future additions into doubt as they look to recruit in the transfer window.
The Red Devils have been strongly linked with Gakpo since the summer, when they held talks over signing the PSV Eindhoven forward, but opted against making a move for the 23-year-old in the end, leaving Liverpool free to strike a deal with the Eredivisie outfit for the forward ahead of the winter window opening.
Now, as per the Athletic, Ten Hag and co. opted not to pursue a deal because “they decided they could not afford him this month, especially when there remained some doubts about his suitability as a centre-forward”.
Any deals done this month, they add, will be taken out of a potential summer budget, when prices will be cheaper and the available player pool larger. For instance, Jude Bellingham and Enzo Fernandez are both thought to be available this summer but not in January.
And it seems as though the Red Devils are opting to keep their powder dry despite the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo and Ten Hag’s public desire for a striker.
“We are looking for a striker,” the Manchester United boss confirmed last week. “It has to match the sporting criteria but also the financial criteria.
However, though Ten Hag is keen to recruit, “the options now will centre on loans”, the Athletic add.
Joao Felix is one possible option, with speculation that he could be free to leave Atletico Madrid on loan this January, while Barcelona are also open to offers for former Manchester United striker Memphis Depay.