Erik ten Hag looking at cheaper striker options amid Joao Felix stalemate

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Erik ten Hag looking at cheaper striker options amid Joao Felix stalemate
Erik ten Hag looking at cheaper striker options amid Joao Felix stalemate

Manchester United announced goalkeeper Jack Butland as their first signing of the January transfer window on Friday morning.

The former England international, 29, joined Erik ten Hag's side on a six-month loan deal from Crystal Palace after Martin Dubravka was recalled by parent club Newcastle. Butland could end up staying for longer at Old Trafford, as his Palace contract expires in June.

"This is an amazing club and one that I am now proud to represent," Butland has told reporters. With United's goalkeeping conundrum sorted, Ten Hag can set his sights on bringing in more outfield players. Here are the latest transfer rumours from Old Trafford.

De Jong not for sale

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has issued a new statement on United's never-ending pursuit of Frenkie de Jong.

Ten Hag tried to sign the Netherlands international, 25, last summer but couldn't persuade him to leave Barcelona. Some fresh transfer rumours have emerged in recent weeks due to United's good form, but Laporta has insisted De Jong is not for sale.

Marcel Sabitzer completes Man Utd transfer after last-minute deadline day dash rridqqieqiqerinvMarcel Sabitzer completes Man Utd transfer after last-minute deadline day dash

"About De Jong, I admit there were clubs interested in buying him last summer, but he was not for sale and he won’t be," Laporta told reporters on Thursday.

Erik ten Hag looking at cheaper striker options amid Joao Felix stalemateFrenkie de Jong is set to stay at Barcelona (Getty Images)

Who do you think Manchester United should sign in January? Let us know in the comments below!

"De Jong is a very appealing footballer, we know that, but I insist he’s not for sale. No matter what can be discussed in internal meetings, there’s a club opinion above everything. And from the club point of view, De Jong is not for sale."

De Jong is said to be impressed by United's revival under Ten Hag, as they are fourth in the Premier League table. Unless something dramatic happens in January, the Red Devils will face De Jong when they meet Barcelona in the Europa League next month.

Felix deal stalls

United are struggling to agree a loan fee for Joao Felix, according to Sky Sports News.

Felix, 23, is available for transfer after failing to impress at Atletico Madrid under boss Diego Simeone. United and Arsenal are interested in signing him on loan until the end of the season, yet it's believed the Spanish giants want £13million for the privilege.

That's a big problem for United, as it's thought Ten Hag's side are reluctant to pay more than £3.5m for the Portugal international's temporary services.

Cheaper options identified

Erik ten Hag looking at cheaper striker options amid Joao Felix stalemateMemphis Depay could be set for a sensational return to Manchester United (Xavier Bonilla/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

It seems as if United will not swoop for Felix due to Atletico's loan demands and will instead target a cheaper alternative in January.

That's according to The Athletic, which claims United are interested in signing Bayern Munich forward Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting or Barcelona winger Memphis Depay.

Choupo-Moting, 33, has scored 11 goals in 16 games for Bayern this season and is out of contract in the summer. Although he is playing frequently, Memphis, 28, is struggling for minutes at Barcelona. Like Choupo-Moting, Memphis has six months left on his contract.

Man Utd deadline day live updates as Sabitzer completes loan moveMan Utd deadline day live updates as Sabitzer completes loan move

A return to Old Trafford would be a remarkable turn of events for Memphis. The Netherlands international scored just two goals and provided three assists in 33 Premier League games for United during his first spell at the club between June 2015 and January 2017.

That being said, Choupo-Moting's record in England isn't that much better. The Cameroon international managed just five Premier League goals during his one and only season at Stoke, which ended in relegation. Both players have different CVs now, however.

Tom Blow

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