ten Hag comments on Man Utd’s January transfer plans
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Manchester United know they need a new striker to arrive at the club in the January transfer window. And Joao Felix is on their wishlist, with Atletico Madrid willing to let the 23-year-old leave on loan. With the Red Devils pushing for a deal behind the scenes, it’s possible he’ll be offered a pick of two iconic shirt numbers at the club.
Manchester United saw Cristiano Ronaldo leave the club back in November and, on numerous occasions, Erik ten Hag has expressed a desire to bring in a replacement.
And Felix is one player in their sights, with the Portugal international free to leave Atletico on loan following a breakdown of his relationship with Diego Simeone.
United have confirmed to his agent, Jorge Mendes, that they’re admirers of the forward – who has bagged four La Liga goals this term.
They’ve also informed Mendes they’re prepared to bring Felix to the club this winter, too, as they hunt an established striker to last until the end of the season.
Arsenal are rivals for the Atletico star, with the Gunners keen to acquire a marksman to replace the injured Gabriel Jesus.
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Manchester United are keen on Joao Felix with the January transfer window open (Image: GETTY)
And Chelsea can’t be ruled out, either, with Todd Boehly spending lavishly ever since acquiring the club last year.
United’s need is arguably greatest, however, and they’d be able to offer Felix a pick of two iconic shirt numbers if he were to move to Old Trafford.
The first, of course, is the No 7 shirt.
It is one of the most-famous shirt numbers in the whole of world football, having been worn by many club legends over the years.
Ronaldo himself wore it during his two spells in Manchester, with the 37-year-old winning the lot during his first.
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Manchester United would have to pay a loan fee to Atletico Madrid for Joao Felix transfer (Image: GETTY)
And George Best, Eric Cantona and David Beckham are also famous occupants of years gone by, with the trio all the stuff of United folklore.
The jersey is currently vacant in the wake of Ronaldo’s bitter departure and Felix, given he wears it at Atletico, could feasibly take it on.
He has donned the digit ever since moving to Atletico in 2019, having previously sported the No 79.
And another option would be the No 11 shirt, which was worn by Mason Greenwood prior to his last appearance for the club in January 2020.
The No 11 was previously worn by United at Ryan Giggs, who has made more appearances for the club than any other player in their entire history.
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Manchester United can offer Joao Felix the No 7 shirt after Cristiano Ronaldo exit (Image: GETTY)
Felix did take the number during the recent World Cup in Qatar, where he netted one goal and registered two assists.
Occupants since Giggs include Greenwood, Anthony Martial and Adnan Januzaj.
But all of the trio have never been able to do it justice in the same way as Giggs.
Regarding Felix and a potential move to United, meanwhile, Patrice Evra has expressed a belief the 23-year-old isn’t the right fit for his former club.
“I love Joao Felix and I loved what a great World Cup he had,” he stated in an interview with Betfair.
Manchester United can propose the No 11 shirt to Joao Felix made famous by Ryan Giggs (Image: GETTY)
“I’m quite surprised that things haven’t worked out with Diego Simeone at Atletico Madrid, but he’s a fantastic player.
“If he does move to the UK, he will enjoy playing in the Premier League in any team. I don’t want to talk him up as a target for Manchester United because whenever we talk United targets they never end up signing.
“He’s an excellent player and if he’s not happy at Atletico, the Premier League will welcome him with open arms.
“We need to replace the 20 goals from Cristiano Ronaldo, so it’s logical that we need another attacker.
“We can play Martial, Garnacho and Rashford but we need a killer, someone who lives for goals. I don’t care if they perform well, I just want them to score goals.
“That’s why I don’t think Joao Felix is the right type of player for United right now.”