Friday, March 1, 2024

A Hectic January At Old Trafford: Who are the top targets for Erik ten Hag & Manchester United?

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While some around Old Trafford might have been dreaming of the chance to mount a shock genuine title charge when opening up the 2023/24 campaign, Manchester United find themselves at the heart of another public rut.

Suffering a major Champions League collapse away at Galatasaray last week and needing a minor miracle in their bid to punch a knockout stage ticket, Erik ten Hag finds mounting pressure on his shoulders.

Although the Premier League giants might have once again broken the bank over the summer as they recruit the likes of Rasmus Hojlund and Mason Mount, United’s new recruits have struggled to find their feet at Old Trafford.

With the former Ajax boss dealing with a stacked injury list, it has been speculated that ten Hag’s side will be active during the January transfer window.

Needing reinforcements across the pitch and facing an uphill battle in their bid to claim a crucial top-four finish, we have taken a look at a few of the top targets on ten Hag’s wishlist.

Antonio Silva – Benfica

With Lisandro Martinez not set to feature again until the New Year after sustaining a long-term ankle injury, there has also been growing speculation that French superstar Raphael Varane could be heading for the Old Trafford exit.

Showing some rather glaring defensive issues this season and shipping 14 goals in their five European appearances, it is no secret that United are seeking defensive cover when the window reopens.

While fellow European giants Liverpool and Real Madrid might have also been linked with a move for Benfica starlet Antonio Silva, United could be looking to shore up their interest ahead of a major January swoop.

A product of Benfica’s academy and really bursting onto the scene since making his senior debut last season, the 20-year-old is regarded as one of Europe’s most promising young defensive stars.

Already receiving seven international caps with Portugal and sat in pole position to feature at next summer’s European Championships, Silva is reportedly interested by the prospect of a Premier League switch next month.

Radu Dragusin – Genoa

Although there might have been suggestions last month that Arsenal were inching closer to a move for Genoa starlet Radu Dragusin, it appears that Manchester United have moved themselves into pole position.

Continuing to gain a string of plaudits since arriving at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris on a permanent basis over the summer, Dragusin is reportedly being closely monitored by several European giants.

With suggestions that Genoa have already accepted that they will be unable to reject a lucrative offer in January, the former Juventus academy star has often been compared to ex-United skipper Nemanja Vidic.

Featuring in all 14 of Genoa’s Serie A appearances, it is believed that United value the Romania international at £27million.

While Genoa director Marco Ottolini might have stated over the weekend that the Italian outfit are yet to receive any formal approaches, he did confirm that there is plenty of heavyweight interest.

Serhou Guirassy – Stuttgart

While England skipper Harry Kane might have continued to steal most of the Bundesliga’s headlines since completing his blockbuster summer move from Tottenham, the red-hot Serhou Guirassy has enjoyed his own record-breaking flurry.

With Stuttgart already cementing their spot as one of Europe’s surprise packages this season and dreaming of the chance to punch a famous Champions League ticket, the 27-year-old has certainly gained a string of plaudits from across the continent.

Once again finding the net over the weekend as Stuttgart secured a 2-0 victory against Werder Bremen, the former Rennes striker has already bagged a stunning 16 strikes in his first 11 Bundesliga appearances this season.

Transforming into one of Europe’s most clinical marksmen, it has been reported that Guirassy has plenty of admirers among the Old Trafford hierarchy.

With Hojlund yet to open his Premier League account this season and England ace Marcus Rashford failing to find any kind of fluidity this year, United could be looking to trigger Guirassy’s £17.5million release clause.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan

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