The United boss was thought to be keen to bring the PSV Eindhoven star to Old Trafford having discussed the move with the forward during the summer transfer window.
The Netherlands international is now poised to join Liverpool in a £44million deal, with Jurgen Klopp’s side moving quickly to wrap up a deal over Christmas.
Having spent in the excess of £200million on new recruits during the summer transfer window, United will likely be limited to loan signings in January.
Speaking after United’s 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest on Tuesday, ten Hag hinted the club will be working with a tight budget next month.
The United boss would not discuss his or the club’s interest in Gakpo, but underlined the importance of bringing in another forward option with United still competing in all four competitions.
Asked if he was hopeful of a new signing up front, ten Hag told Amazon Prime: ‘We are always in the marker but it has to match not just the sporting criteria but also the financial criteria.
‘We do what we can to bring in that player that we need.’
Asked specifically about the club’s interest in Gakpo and his imminent move to Liverpool, the United boss added: ‘I don’t talk about individual cases.
‘We are looking for offensive players, we are looking for a striker. It would be good because the games coming, there are so many, every third day.
‘It is tough. we want to play in all the leagues we are in so hopefully we keep going [in them] until the end of the season but to do that we need numbers in the squad to cover it all.’
United’s current options up front were both on the score sheet on Tuesday with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial hitting the target with Fred notching a late third against Forest.
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