Man Utd to focus on outgoings before granting Erik ten Hag's striker wish

  • Erik ten Hag is keen to bolster in attack during the January transfer window
  • Man Utd must consult Sir Jim Ratcliffe before making any moves
  • Timo Werner & Serhou Guirassy among possible targets

Ten Hag is eyeing a new forward
Ten Hag is eyeing a new forward / Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

Manchester United are focused on trimming their squad in the January transfer window and will only pursue a striker if sufficient funds are raised, 90min understands.

United have agreed a strategy for the winter window with Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who is still awaiting final approval from the Premier League and for the A Shares tender to be completed, ahead of assuming control at Old Trafford, with the current priority understood to be selling players on the fringes of Erik ten Hag's squad.

Donny van de Beek has already joined Eintracht Frankfurt on loan and he is expected to be joined in Germany by winger Jadon Sancho, who is inching closer to a loan return to Borussia Dortmund after his public falling-out with Ten Hag - sources close to Manchester United had stressed on Thursday night a deal was not yet 100% complete despite Dortmund's desire to get Sancho to their training camp in Marbella as soon as possible.

Should United free up enough money from departures, then they could look to grant Ten Hag's wish of signing a new forward before the transfer window closes. This may require INEOS input since their so-called 'Transfers Plan', formally listed in the agreement between Ratcliffe and the Glazers, is understood to focus predominantly on outgoings.

Having seen his side score just 22 goals in 20 Premier League games so far this season - only the division's bottom two sides, Burnley and Sheffield United, have managed fewer - Ten Hag wants a new forward to aid his side's push for European football, but any new signing would have to be supplemented by outgoings.

SV Darmstadt 98 v RB Leipzig - Bundesliga
Werner is on Man Utd's radar / Ralf Ibing - firo sportphoto/GettyImages

An enquiry has been made about RB Leipzig's Timo Werner, while Bayern Munich's Thomas Muller has surprisingly also been looked at despite only recently signing a new contract. A move is unlikely and Muller has only scored one Bundesliga goal this season.

Stuttgart's Serhou Guirassy, who has 17 goals in 14 Bundesliga games and comes with a €17.5m release clause, is known to interest United but there are concerns over his involvement at the Africa Cup of Nations which, coupled with potential time off after the tournament, could keep the 27-year-old out until deep into February. Sources close to Stuttgart have expressed optimism Guirassy will stay until the end of the season.

United do not want to rush a move for a new striker either, with Ratcliffe and his new team of decision-makers prepared to wait until the summer window if the right deal cannot be found in January. This week, Ratcliffe held a long meeting with Ten Hag, with it made clear to the United boss he won't be pre-judged before INEOS formally arrive. Sporting director Sir Dave Brailsford also outlined the "performance challenges" ahead to club staff.