Ten Hag eyes up next Man Utd transfer with two flops identified as 'realistic'

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Jack Butland is set to join Manchester United on loan (Image: Getty Images)
Jack Butland is set to join Manchester United on loan (Image: Getty Images)

Manchester United are still aiming to sign a replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo in January - but they won't splash the cash.

United are on the verge of signing Crystal Palace goalkeeper Jack Butland on loan for the rest of the season. The England international, 29, will replace Martin Dubrakva in the squad after Newcastle recalled the 33-year-old from his loan spell at Old Trafford.

Yet United fans are still clamouring for a new striker following Ronaldo's exit by mutual consent in November. It's believed the Red Devils are interested in signing Bayern Munich forward Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Barcelona winger Memphis Depay.

As reported by The Athletic, United want to sign a striker on loan or in a low-cost permanent deal. Ronaldo, 37, agreed to leave Old Trafford after criticising the club's owners, Ten Hag and several ex-employees in a sensational TalkTV interview with Piers Morgan.

Choupo-Moting, 33, has scored 11 goals in 16 games for Bayern this term but has just six months left on his existing deal. The Cameroon international wouldn't command a big transfer fee, although Bayern may be reluctant to lose him midway through the season.

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Choupo-Moting has played for the likes of Paris Saint-Germain and Schalke before but is best remembered by Premier League fans for his one-season spell at Stoke, which ended in relegation. The forward managed just five goals in the Premier League.

Ten Hag eyes up next Man Utd transfer with two flops identified as 'realistic'Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting has been in good form for Bayern Munich this term (Getty Images)

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Depay, 28, is perhaps a more likely signing. The Netherlands international has started just two LaLiga games this season after falling behind Robert Lewandowski in the pecking order and, like Choupo-Moting, is out of contract at the end of the season.

Yet Depay's return to United would raise eyebrows. He scored just two goals and provided three assists in 33 Premier League games during his first spell at Old Trafford. Barcelona manager Xavi has also insisted he wants to keep Depay at the Camp Nou.

United did include a buy-back clause in Depay's contract when he was flogged to Lyon in January 2017. He enjoyed a successful spell in France - scoring 63 goals in 139 Ligue 1 games - but United were unable to sign him back as he joined Barcelona on a free transfer.

Ten Hag eyes up next Man Utd transfer with two flops identified as 'realistic'Memphis Depay could make a sensational return to Old Trafford (Xavier Bonilla/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

United were reportedly interested in former PSV Eindhoven forward Cody Gakpo, who would've been a bargain at £45million. Yet bitter rivals Liverpool won the race for the 23-year-old's signature after he scored three goals for the Netherlands at the World Cup.

Butland, meanwhile, is expected to complete his United medical on Thursday ahead of his proposed move. It's believed the former Stoke star will sign a six-month loan deal and then evaluate his future further when his Palace contract expires in the summer.

Butland hasn't featured in the Premier League this season and has been a back-up goalkeeper to Vicente Guaita since joining Palace in October 2020. He may still have ambitions of being a first-choice goalkeeper once his proposed loan deal expires.

Tom Blow

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15.07.2024, 17:44 • Investigation