Erik ten Hag makes admission over Man Utd striker pursuit
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has admitted it will be ‘difficult’ for the club to sign a striker during the January transfer window due to the inflated costs at this time of year.
United are in desperate need of additional firepower, with Cristiano Ronaldo’s sudden departure in November leaving Anthony Martial as the only recognised number nine in the squad.
Ten Hag was keen on Cody Gakpo, but Liverpool beat United to a transfer worth up to €50m for the Dutch international. Reports following initial news of the deal suggested that United are limited to loan deals in January, with that hesitation enough to allow Liverpool to jump ahead.
Now, United find themselves having to potentially get ‘creative’ in the market.
“It is always difficult, strikers are expensive and especially in the winter, you set the limits high so maybe we have to be creative,” Ten Hag explained.
“We do everything in our power to get it done and get the right player who fits the balance.
“I don’t think you can judge [the chances of making a signing] and rate it. It is about timing, availability, about so many circumstances playing a role.
“It is now [late] December – the window has not even started.”
Despite being flush with expensive wide forwards, United have struggled to properly boost their centre froward ranks in recent years. The club has not invested in a permanent striker signing other than Ronaldo since buying Romelu Lukaku in 2017.
In the interim, United signed Odion Ighalo on loan in January 2020, while later bringing veteran free agent Edinson Cavani to Old Trafford in 2021.
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Arsenal pre-season 2023/24: Fixtures and schedule
Having reached new heights in the Premier League in 2022/23, Arsenal will soon be beginning their preparations for the new campaign with a pre-season tour to get ready for 2023/24.
Preparations for last season took place in Germany for Arsenal but with the Covid-19 pandemic a bit more of a distant memory for many, it is expected that more teams will be heading further afield again to either the United States of America or Asia.
Arsenal are yet to announce a full training camp location for their pre-season but they do have one fixture already confirmed which drops a big clue.
The Gunners are going to be coming up against an MLS All-Star team in Washington D.C. which will be coached by Manchester United and England legend Wayne Rooney. That takes place on July 19 and it is hard to imagine that Arsenal will only play one game in America.
A semi-regular fixture of Arsenal’s pre-seasons in recent years has been the Emirates Cup, but there has not been any word on whether an edition of that will be taking place or not this summer. If there is, then Arsenal could be splitting their time between America and London.
All times BST.
As is the case for almost every big club in football now, all of Arsenal’s pre-season friendlies are expected to be televised live on Arsenal.com and their official app with a subscription.
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