Ten Hag ‘likes’ World Cup sensations as Man Utd boss adds duo to Bellingham, De Jong ‘wishlist’

Jason Soutar
Man Utd manager Erik ten Hag during a training session

Man Utd manager Erik ten Hag remains interested in Frenkie de Jong and Jude Bellingham, but is also a fan of Mohammed Kudus and Goncalo Ramos, according to a report.

The Red Devils are expected to be active in the January transfer window, especially in their pursuit of a new forward.

This is following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, who had his contract terminated by mutual consent in November.

Man Utd are expected to lodge a bid to sign PSV Eindhoven and Netherlands forward Cody Gakpo next month as Ten Hag seeks a long-term Ronaldo replacement.

Gakpo can operate anywhere across the frontline, offering similar versatility to that of Marcus Rashford.

While the 23-year-old is likely to move to Old Trafford in January, Ten Hag is still looking to bolster his midfield despite the summer acquisitions of Casemiro and Christian Eriksen.

Ten Hag pursued Casemiro after being rejected by Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong.

And despite this, multiple reports suggest that Man Utd are still keen on signing the Dutch midfielder.

Borussia Dortmund and England starlet Jude Bellingham also remains a target, despite interest from Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, Manchester City and Liverpool.

The battle to sign Bellingham is expected to be fierce, with Dortmund likely to ask for a fee above £100million.

According to The Athletic, Man Utd ‘remain interested’ in De Jong and Bellingham.

Ten Hag is a ‘big admirer of both players’, who the club have tried to sign over the last two years.

Barcelona accepted a bid from Man Utd for De Jong in the summer, however, the player was not keen on the transfer.

The La Liga giants felt they had enough midfield options and were willing to sanction the sale of De Jong. Their stance in January may remain the same, though club director Jordi Cruyff recently said the time for Man Utd to sign him has passed.

Barcelona boss Xavi pushed to sign Franck Kessie last summer and preferred him to De Jong at the start of the season, though the Dutchman has played himself back into the Blaugrana’s midfield.

Ten Hag is, though, prioritising attacking reinforcements, and while he believes Anthony Martial can blossom into a ‘complete striker’, there is an interest in Benfica striker Goncalo Ramos.

The Dutch manager ‘likes’ Ramos – who replaced Cristiano Ronaldo in Portugal’s starting XI for their World Cup last-16 clash against Switzerland, netting a hat-trick in the 6-1 win.

Benfica are not desperate to sell, however, especially after offloading Darwin Nunez to Liverpool last summer. They also remain in the Champions League and have a favorable knockout clash against Club Brugge coming up.

Another player Ten Hag is said to be a fan of is Mohammed Kudus, who the 52-year-old managed at Ajax.

He apparently ‘admires the skill and dynamism’ of the Ghanian forward.

The report states that Man Utd will not buy for the sake of it and will ensure any new signings are a ‘sufficient quality to improve the squad’.

The Red Devils spent the most in a transfer window in their history in Ten Hag’s first summer, signing Casemiro, Lisandro Martinez, Christian Eriksen, Tyrell Malacia and Antony for a combined £209m.

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