Erik ten Hag is reportedly so determined to sign an upcoming superstar for Manchester United that he is considering an offer to pay over the odds for the teenager, according to a journalist.
The United manager was allowed to spend around £216m over the summer to bring in six new players. And they have all had a positive impact with the Red Devils seemingly on an upward trajectory. And while Sunday’s 3-1 defeat at Aston Villa was a big blow, hopes are high that United could nudge their way back into the top four.
Ten Hag’s side are currently fifth in the table and goal difference means they are unlikely to oust Tottenham heading into the World Cup break. However, they do boast a game in hand on both Spurs and Newcastle, in third.
As such, the club will hope for further progress when their campaign resumes on December 27.
Before then, Ten Hag will use the enforced break in the domestic season to shape plans for the January transfer window. The United boss is seeking a new right-back as he looks to provide cover and competition for the undroppable Diogo Dalot.
In addition, the United boss is also reportedly considering his goalkeeper options. We revealed earlier this week that Ten Hag remains a fan of David De Gea, despite speculation he will depart. Indeed, the long-serving Spaniard may yet sign a new deal, though there are a couple of caveats to that.
However, the biggest transfer question facing Ten Hag in 2023 is how to replace Cristiano Ronaldo and life after the veteran attacker.
Ten Hag wants to sign Benjamin Sesko as Ronaldo replacement
Indeed, his future has very much been under the spotlight in recent months. Amid claims he is unhappy and wants to move on, he has been used sparingly under the Dutchman.
And while he started and captained the side at Villa Park, rumours are mounting that a January exit is likely. To that end, our exclusive revealed that Sporting Lisbon are looking increasingly likely to swoop for his signature.
Signing a replacement though is far from an easy task. United are reportedly looking into a possible deal for Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting as a stop-gap, with his deal at Bayern Munich nearing an end. However, Bayern’s director of football Hasan Salihamidzic insists his side have no intention of allowing him to leave.
Instead, United are reportedly pursuing a deal for Victor Osimhen. Any deal for the Nigerian, though, must wait until the end of the season.
But with Napoli seemingly willing to sell, Osimhen is likely to cost around £85m.
As an alternative, the Red Devils continue to be linked with Benjamin Sesko.
The Slovenian striker has been making waves with RB Salzburg, where he has 17 goals in 62 appearances. The 19-year-old also has four in 15 appearances for his national side.
Drawing comparisons with Erling Haaland, who also emerged with the Austrian side, Sesko is a player that Ten Hag is seemingly desperate to sign.
However, there is a problem in that Sesko has already agreed a £55m move to sign for sister club RB Leipzig in the summer.
United ready to pay stupid money for striker
Despite that, United are seemingly unfazed and are reportedly ready to buy over the odds for Sesko. Indeed, reports suggest they are willing to offer Leipzig an instant profit without him actually turning out for them.
And transfer journalist Dean Jones is adamant that move to the Bundesliga will not deter United.
Jones told Givemesport: “We mentioned this in the list of strikers that they might go for in the new year.
“It sounds stupid because he’s already making a transfer, but United aren’t really deterred by that.
“They think that he’s worth still keeping an eye on. Even if they had to pay a premium for him, it might be worth it.”
Quite what United would need to pay for Leipzig to renege on their Sesko deal remains to be seen. However, the Bundesliga side are often vulnerable to sales and regularly cash in on their prized assets.
It may come as a surprise if they sold Sesko before he’s even played for them, however. But if United come forward with a huge bid, it wouldn’t be the first time players or clubs have gone back on pre-contract agreements.
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