Man Utd's next six Premier League fixtures
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Manchester United will need to spend big on Joao Felix with Atletico Madrid looking for £88million to cash in on the forward, according to reports. Erik ten Hag is keen to land a replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo when the transfer window reopens next month. However, with money tight at Old Trafford following a huge summer of investment, the Dutchman isn’t guaranteed to get his wish.
Manchester United had hoped Ronaldo would see out his contract at Old Trafford, having penned a two-year deal upon returning in the summer of 2021.
However, the Portugal international was cut loose by the fallen giants last month after a bombshell interview with Piers Morgan.
In the time since, United have been linked with a variety of different forwards – ranging from Cody Gakpo to Goncalo Ramos, Rafael Leao to Memphis Depay.
Yet Felix is another name in the frame, with the Red Devils previously eyeing the Portugal international when he was strutting his stuff for Benfica.
According to ESPN, however, Atletico would want a fee in the region of £88m to let their No 7 go.
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That would likely be too much for United at the current moment in time, with their budget apparently at less than £30m following a huge summer of investment.
United had hoped to spend shrewdly and to a minimum earlier in the year, despite enduring a torrid campaign under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick.
But, after consecutive defeats to Brighton and Brentford, the Glazers then relaxed financial constraints to bring in the likes of Casemiro and Antony.
The report adds that three players could leave United in the New Year, too.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka gets a mention, despite the former Crystal Palace star impressing for the Red Devils as they beat Burnley 2-0 in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night.
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Brandon Williams, who came off the bench, may leave on loan – having done well enough during a temporary spell with Norwich City last season.
And Axel Tuanzebe is another player who could depart, with the centre-back plagued by injuries over the past 12 months.
Whether United sign a replacement for Ronaldo in the New Year remains to be seen, especially given the limitations on their transfer budget.
But Ten Hag confirmed earlier in the month that United were hoping to reinforce their attack, saying: “Yes [we want to replace him], but only when we find the right player.
“We will do everything in our power. We are doing research at every opportunity and we will do everything we can (to sign them) if that opportunity is there.”
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Regarding Ronaldo, meanwhile, United referenced their former No 7 in their official programme prior to their win over Burnley.
“Cristiano Ronaldo left the club by mutual agreement last month,” they said.
“The Portuguese superstar scored 145 goals across two spells and 436 appearances, and helped us win three Premier League titles, one FA Cup, two League Cups, the Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup. Ronaldo was also crowned Ballon d’Or winner in 2008.
“In a statement on November 22, the club put on record its gratitude for Cristiano’s immense contribution and wished him and his family well for the future.”
United have a mixed record when it comes to making January signings.
Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra were both huge hits upon moving in 2006, winning 10 Premier League titles combined.
Bruno Fernandes has also been a success story following his transfer from Sporting Lisbon two years ago.
But the less said about Alexis Sanchez, Zoran Tosic and Manucho, the better.
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