Erik ten Hag insists Manchester United must sign a striker in January after missing out on Cody Gakpo.
United are in desperate need of more firepower as they resume their fight for silverware on four fronts with Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford their only options to play through the middle.
Ten Hag was eager to bring Netherlands international Gakpo to Old Trafford but with funds limited in January, was left to sit back and watch Liverpool move in and wrap up a deal for the prolific 23-year-old.
United are likely to be limited to loan signings in January with Joao Felix and Alvaro Morata among the names linked with moves.
And while acknowledging the club’s targets need to meet their ‘financial criteria’, the United boss is eager to add some depth to his squad ahead of a demanding fixture schedule until the end of the season.
‘All the games are coming. It’s a tough competition, in all the leagues,’ ten Hag told a press conference ahead of United’s trip to Wolves on Saturday.
‘We want to keep playing in all the leagues and in the cups as well. So we need players and we need numbers to cover.
‘We need good players, not just the numbers. We need quality players to cover. And also we need competition and we need to know also that we can make different choices.
‘So we are looking for the right player for our squad, but it has to match our sporting criteria, definitely, but also some financial criteria.’
Martial has led the line in each of United’s last two matches since domestic football returned and while he has a healthy return of five goals in nine appearances, the Frenchman has been limited to just five starts due to various injuries.
Rashford is United’s top scorer with 10 this season, scoring and providing an assist against Nottingham Forest following a brilliant solo effort in the Carabao Cup against Burnley.
But the England international has been at his most dangerous coming in from the left this season, a role he prefers than one through the middle.
‘More often than not I prefer to play on the left but if there’s a weakness in the middle or if there’s a certain player I feel I can exploit I like to have the freedom to move and do that,’ Rashford said on Wednesday.
‘I feel comfortable in those positions, and I want to score goals. Every forward has a number they want to try and reach.
‘For me it’s to score more than I’ve ever scored in a season so for me I think it’s 22, 23. I need to try and keep scoring and affecting the games.’
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