Manchester United are ready to hand Erik ten Hag a sizeable transfer budget in the January window with the Dutchman already thinking about fresh signings, according to reports.
The Red Devils lost their opening two Premier League matches but responded by signing Casemiro from Real Madrid and Antony from Ajax and have now won four straight league matches to move up to fifth place in the table.
In total, United spent over £200million on new additions over the summer though Ten Hag still missed out on strengthening several areas he had identified as being in need of reinforcements.
The club started the season with no recognised striker – with Christian Eriksen lining up as a false nine – and remain keen to bring in a new number nine, while Ten Hag still wants to lure Frenkie de Jong to Old Trafford.
According to The Sun, the former Ajax boss will be given additional funds in January to continue to shape the squad and United are likely to be more proactive this winter than normal.
The World Cup is just two months away, meaning United have just eight more Premier League fixtures – and five in the Europa League – before the tournament in Qatar kicks off.
As a result of the interrupted season, this January window is expected to be one of the most active ever and Ten Hag will be given a warchest of at least £70m to bolster his squad.
He will also be given any funds from player sales and if Cristiano Ronaldo finally manages to secure an exit – even on a free transfer – then United’s budget will be increased even further to £100m given that the Portuguese star’s £450,000-a-week salary would be off the wage bill.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner remains keen to leave Old Trafford for a Champions League club and will explore an exit once again in January, with United willing to let him leave if they can secure a new forward.
According to The Sun’s report, Ten Hag has already been casting his mind forward to the January window and has held initial talks over future transfer plans.
The Glazers have given the Dutchman their backing and are prepared to continue investing in the squad – and their new manager – and are even willing to increase his budget beyond £100m if the right player were to become available.
Ten Hag has repeatedly stressed the need to buy quality, not quantity, and has emphasised the importance of signing the ‘right’ players.
He still believes he is missing three top-level, first-team players to close the gap to Manchester City and Liverpool and get United competing for major honours again, with a proactive January window leaving less work to do next summer.
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