It’s exactly a month until the January transfer window opens and Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is drawing up a shortlist to boost his team’s hopes of silverware
Rashford pays tribute to Ronaldo after Man Utd exit
Manchester United are expected to be busy in the January transfer window after terminating Cristiano Ronaldo’s contract by mutual consent.
Ronaldo, 37, has left Old Trafford after criticising owners the Glazers and manager Erik ten Hag in a sensational interview with Piers Morgan. The Portugal international also took aim at ex-United employees Gary Neville, Wayne Rooney and Ralf Rangnick.
As such, Ten Hag needs to bring in a new forward. Cody Gakpo is believed to be top of United’s transfer shortlist but other clubs have also been linked with the Dutchman. So, who else are United interested in? Here is Mirror Football’s Manchester United transfer round-up.
Zubimendi on radar
Ten Hag is interested in signing Spain international Martin Zubimendi from Real Sociedad, according to TEAMtalk.
Zubimendi, 23, has established himself as one of Sociedad’s star players after making 115 appearances for the club since his first-team debut in April 2019. He’s won one senior cap for Spain and started both Europa League fixtures against the Red Devils this season.
Ronaldo’s exit has added an extra £2million-per-month to United’s budget. Zubimendi reportedly has a release clause of €65m (£56m), although that is more than United are willing to pay in January after investing more than £200m into the squad during the summer.
Who do you think Manchester United should sign in January? Let us know in the comments below!
It’s believed United are more likely to swoop for Zubimendi in the summer, unless a deal can be brokered in January. Replacing Ronaldo is their midseason priority.
United suffer another Fernandez blow
Liverpool are keen on signing Argentina international Enzo Fernandez from Benfica, according to Portuguese outlet A Bola.
The rumour is a blow to United, as Ten Hag is thought to be a fan of the 21-year-old midfielder. Fernandez was signed by Benfica just five months ago after impressing at Argentine club River Plate and breaking into his national side ahead of the World Cup.
Fernandez hit then headlines on Saturday after scoring a stunning goal in Argentina’s 2-0 victory against Mexico at the World Cup. That kept Argentina’s tournament hopes alive and left several top clubs – including United – admiring the player’s youthful talent.
Yet it’s believed Liverpool’s outgoing sporting director Julian Ward has identified Fernandez as a potential candidate to become their next midfielder. Jurgen Klopp’s side are looking to bolster that department, with Jude Bellingham top of their transfer shortlist but coveted by other European rivals.
That’s bad news for United, as Fernandez could be forced to choose between the two great rivals. It comes just days after a £100m price tag was slapped on the player.
Ronaldo set for Saudi move
Ronaldo’s future is close to being resolved, according to Spanish outlet Marca.
It’s thought the five-time Ballon d’Or winner is close to an agreement with Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr. Ronaldo’s only concrete offer in the summer came from an unnamed Saudi team and the free agent is poised to exercise that option after his United exit.
Al-Nassr will reportedly pay Ronaldo an eye-watering €200m (£173m) per season during the two-and-a-half-year contract. At 37, there’s a chance that would be the player’s final move and end his dream of gracing the Champions League again.