Erik ten Hag reveals Man Utd's January transfer window plans

  • Ten Hag admits United unlikely to be too active in winter transfer window
  • The Red Devils have endured a tough start to the 2023/24 campaign
  • Club turned to the loan market for short-term deals last season

Man Utd probably won't spend much next month
Man Utd probably won't spend much next month / Michael Regan/GettyImages

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has played down the possibility of the club going hard in the January transfer window after a difficult first half of the season.

United have lost ten games across all competitions from the 22 they have played so far and, despite showing promise last season, the squad is far from a finished project at this stage.

Around £190m was spent on new players, both permanent and in the loan market, during the summer and a combination of Financial Fair Play and a lack of genuine options available to bring in is likely to mean less January activity than many fans probably want, given results.

"I don't think [we will spend a lot]," Ten Hag told United We Stand.

"As a club, you have to look for improvements, so if you can find better and it's realistic financially and with Financial Fair Play, the club has to go with it. But most of the time you don't attract the best players in the winter."

90min understands that United are among a group of clubs to have been contacted by intermediaries regarding prolific Stuttgart striker Serhou Guirassy. The Guinea international, for whom a mid-season transfer could be complicated by participation at the Africa Cup of Nations, has scored 16 goals in 11 Bundesliga games so far this season and carries a low release clause of £15.2m.

Guirassy's camp believe that United and others have at least some level of interest in signing him.

Serhou Guirassy is a player Man Utd have been contacted about
Serhou Guirassy is a player Man Utd have been contacted about / Sebastian El-Saqqa - firo sportphoto/GettyImages

Since the January window was established in 2003, United have picked up some genuine stars in the winter. Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra both arrived in January 2006 and went on to become Old Trafford legends as the club enjoyed one of its best and most concentrated periods of success.

Juan Mata, although he didn't win as many trophies as he or fans would have hoped for, was also a January recruit – signed for what was then a club record £37.1m from Chelsea in 2014. More recently, Bruno Fernandes joined in January 2020 and has since become United captain.

But January in the last few seasons has also been characterised by meeting emergency needs, often on loan. At the start of 2023, it was Wout Weghorst, essentially replacing Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcel Sabitzer and back-up goalkeeper Jack Butland. In the same month that United signed Fernandes in 2020, they also resorted to a loan for Odion Ighalo just to boost numbers up front.

A little further back in 2018, Alexis Sanchez will go down as one of the worst signings in the club's history, given the expense of an enormous contract and the minimal return on the pitch.