Manchester United are exploring the chances of signing Ajax forward Mohammed Kudus as they continue their search for a replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo this month, 90min understands.
Ronaldo saw his contract terminated before the World Cup following an explosive interview with Piers Morgan, though his departure – which came at little to no cost to United at the time – has now left manager Erik ten Hag short of options in attack.
The Dutchman has publicly stated his desire to bring in a new forward this month, though has been keen to stress they must acquire the right profile of player if they are to move in the market. Kudus is another player Ten Hag knows well given their time together in Amsterdam, where Kudus has been since 2020.
It’s understood no offer has been made yet, though behind the scenes talks have taken place.
The Old Trafford club’s cash position has come into question in recent weeks and United have been put up for sale by the much-maligned Glazer family, making transfer activity in the immediate future uncertain. United’s preference is to explore cheaper deals this month given the club’s situation on the whole, though loan-to-buy options are also under consideration.
United are exploring if Kudus could fall into that category, though other names on the agenda are Memphis Depay, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and even Olivier Giroud. Milan are however confident on keeping the French international. Vincent Aboubakar’s name has also been mentioned after Ronaldo’s arrival at Al Nassr, who Aboubakar plays for.
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Joao Felix and Cody Gakpo are other options United have considered in recent weeks, though the former is prohibitively expensive even on loan and the latter has this month joined rivals Liverpool.
Gakpo was a target of Ten Hag’s since last summer, though Kudus appears a viable alternative. He would be the third player Ten Hag has signed from Ajax for United if a deal progresses, following deals for Lisandro Martinez and Antony last summer.
Ten Hag is steadfast in his desire to add to his squad this month as United push for a place in the Premier League top four.
“It’s always difficult. Strikers are expensive, especially in the winter,” Ten Hag said recently. “But you have to set the limits high. We’re looking for it. We need to be creative and do everything we have in our power to get the right players in, who are fitting in the balance.
“It’s about timing and availability. It’s about so many circumstances playing a role in that.
“I think we have a squad, we have players who are matching our criteria. But all the games are coming. It’s a tough competition, in all the leagues. 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.”
Kudus is able to play in a number of positions across the front line and was one of the standout players for Ghana at the World Cup in Qatar, scoring twice in a 3-2 win over South Korea.
He has openly admitted his preference to play as a number 10, but has also excelled on the right hand side and as a centre forward, United’s problem position, and scored against Liverpool earlier this season in the Champions League at Anfield.