SOCCER

Erik ten Hag tells Manchester United board they need to sign new striker this summer

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‘We need more in attack’: Erik ten Hag tells Man United board it’s VITAL they sign a new striker before the transfer window closes – with £68m from Antony’s representatives in Manchester for talks

  • Manchester United relied on Anthony Martial during pre-season
  • They are still waiting for star player Cristiano Ronaldo to return to training
  • The Red Devils have been heavily linked with a raid on Ajax winger Antony
  • Erik ten Hag says signing a new striker is vital if United are to succeed
  • The Dutchman has until September 1 to bring a new striker to Old Trafford

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Erik ten Hag says it is vital Manchester United sign another striker before the transfer window closes if they are to challenge this season.

Ten Hag has been linked with a £68m raid on his former club Ajax for winger Antony, and it is understood one of Brazil’s representatives, Junior Pedroso, was in Manchester for talks on Thursday.

Asked about the importance of signing another striker, Ten Hag said: “I think it’s vital if you want to be successful, the season is really long.”

Erik ten Hag has sent a message to the Manchester United board that signing a striker is vital

It is understood that representatives for Antony (right) were in Manchester for talks

It is understood that representatives for Antony (right) were in Manchester for talks

“That’s one reason, but also the number of games. You need more options on offense. But we also still have time to fill that.

“We signed (Christian) Eriksen for the midfielder, we are really happy with that. I’m really happy with the performance of the midfield and the attack at the moment.

“But I also know this season, a lot of games, the World Cup, so we need more options.

United relied on Anthony Martial who impressed during pre-season under Ten Hag

United relied on Anthony Martial who impressed during pre-season under Ten Hag

Martial has bonded well with Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford

Martial has bonded well with Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford

“We have a good team, we need a good team to get the right results at the end of the season.”

United have relied on Anthony Martial on tour in the continued absence of Cristiano Ronaldo and Mason Greenwood.

They scored 11 goals in wins over Liverpool, Melbourne and Crystal Palace.

Ten Hag praised the contribution of Fred who weighed in with a sensational chip in the 4-0 win over Liverpool in Bangkok.

Cristiano Ronaldo still hasn't turned up for pre-season training after asking to leave the club this summer and being granted compassionate leave

Cristiano Ronaldo still hasn’t turned up for pre-season training after asking to leave the club this summer and being granted compassionate leave

“At the moment he is playing the connector role, defending against attack,” the United boss added.

“He plays the role quite well. I am satisfied with his performance, his improvement.

“I think he can even be better. I will support him in that. He also brings energy to the team with his attitude.

United are hoping to have a key striker they already have in Ronaldo back at their disposal before the start of the new season is just over two weeks away against Brighton.

Ten Hag hopes to bring in a new striker before the market closes on September 1

Ten Hag hopes to bring in a new striker before the market closes on September 1

Ronaldo has yet to report for pre-season after asking to leave Old Trafford and being given compassionate leave over a family issue.

“It’s the same as last week,” said Ten Hag when asked about the situation with Ronaldo.

‘Sure. But concern may not be the right word. I focus on the players who are there, they are doing very well, they are in good shape.

“I prefer to focus on that and develop that. I can’t wait for him to come in, so we’ll integrate him.

Ronaldo has been back in shape ahead of the new season and Ten Hag will hope the Portuguese superstar is back ahead of his opener against Brighton on August 7.

Ronaldo has been back in shape ahead of the new season and Ten Hag will hope the Portuguese superstar is back ahead of his opener against Brighton on August 7.

For now, it will be Martial who leads the line, despite his struggles at the club in recent seasons, which included a loan spell at Sevilla last season.

He’s already been told he’s staying after impressing on the club’s tour of Thailand and Australia.

So far, the 26-year-old has linked up well with Jadon Sancho, Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford in pre-season games.

Manchester United have until September 1 when the transfer window closes to bring in an additional striker, which would boost their chances of success under Ten Hag this season.

United face another Premier League side in a pre-season friendly on Saturday in the form of Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa.

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