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Ten Hag looking for good affordable Ronaldo replacement

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag said the Premier League club need reinforcements up top to remain competitive on all fronts, but added that any signing in January would only be completed if the terms match their “sporting and financial criteria”.

United are light on attacking firepower and will be looking to plug the gap left by Cristiano Ronaldo following his departure from the club in the wake of an explosive interview with TalkTV.

British media reported that United were chasing Dutch forward Cody Gakpo, before Liverpool sealed the deal and signed him for a reported initial fee of 37 million pounds ($44.69 million) on Wednesday.

When asked if he would be okay with United failing to sign a forward during the January window, Ten Hag told reporters, “we have the players who are matching our criteria. But with all the games that are coming, it is tough competition in all the leagues.”

“If you want to also be in all the leagues and keep playing in all the leagues by winning games and cups as well, you need players, you need numbers to cover,” Ten Hag added, speaking before Saturday’s league game at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

“So, we need good players. Not only numbers, you need quality players to cover that and also you need competition.”

“And you need also that you can make tactical choices. We are looking for the right player for our squad and (he) has to match our sporting criteria but also our financial criteria.”

Ten Hag also praised defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who struggled with injuries this season and was linked with a move away from Old Trafford but is slowly finding his feet after starting United’s last two games.

“In the first half of the season, he was either injured or ill, so you don’t have a role in the squad,” Ten Hag said.

“So, I thought that the break was good for him. He returned, he was in the training camp in Spain, he could play some games in preparation for the restart.

“Now he is playing games and he is doing really well so I am happy with his performance. But we need that competition in our squad. And he has to play games in the team and then you can develop and then you can grow.”

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