- Manchester United’s disappointing start to the season has reportedly prompted the club to start plotting for the January window already.
- Reports suggest that some support and competition for Rasmus Hojlund is first up on the agenda.
- Club chiefs appear to have identified a hidden gem, but they’ll have to fight Roma for his signature.
As the summer transfer window came to a close, Erik ten Hag may have been convinced that the business that Manchester United completed was adequate enough to ensure another successful season at the club.
A second defeat in four Premier League games however has reportedly already seen the Dutchman and the board turn their focus towards January moves.
Between now and then, the Ajax manager must turn results around as soon as possible, but as soon as the winter window swings open, we could see Manchester United bid for an exciting reinforcement, according to reports.
What’s the latest Manchester United transfer news?
In total, the Premier League giants spent a reported €214m (£184m) throughout the summer, making their start to the season all the more disappointing. One positive is the fact that reported £72m arrival Rasmus Hojlund is now back fit, and ready to start his first game for the club after the international break.
The former Atalanta man will be under a fair amount of pressure to perform, given his price-tag, and the fact that, if he doesn’t perform, United will be forced to call on Anthony Martial.
The Frenchman has struggled so far this season, failing to score in three games, perhaps highlighting Ten Hag’s need for further competition in his attack. And the Dutchman could be getting exactly that in January.
According to reports in Brazil, via TuttoMercatoWeb, United could make a bid worth more than €20m, plus €5m in bonuses to Santos for young striker Marcos Leonardo in January, beating AS Roma to his signature.
The forward would come in as competition for Hojlund, perhaps pushing the forward to reach his potential at Old Trafford, and the Serie A outfit are worried they cannot compete with the Red Devils in a potential bidding war.
Should Manchester United sign Marcos Leonardo?
Signing a 20-year-old forward who starred for Santos last season would represent solid business from the perspective of those at Manchester United.
During the previous campaign, Leonardo was involved in an impressive 20 goals in 34 appearances, finding the back of the net 16 times, and assisting a further four times.
In comparison, Martial – Hojlund’s current competition – managed just nine goals in the entirety of last season for Manchester United.
Leonardo has earned plenty of praise during what has been a relatively young career, too, including from former youth coach Gustavo Roma, who said recently that the forward is: “A really good finisher, he always manages to be in the middle of every middle, he’s very mobile and intense, with great instincts. He has an eye for goal, he is a killer and is a born scorer.”
United, of course, must solve their issues before then, or face the prospect of missing out on Champions League qualification, let alone a title race in the Premier League.
Once January does arrive, however, welcoming Leonardo wouldn’t exactly be bad business. The forward certainly knows how to find the back of the net, and given how young he still is, he could yet become even better.
Hojlund would benefit from adequate competition, too, that’s for sure, with the summer signing hoping to realise his potential at Old Trafford as soon as possible.