Erik ten Hag instructs Manchester United to complete a double transfer after Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure.

Manchester United are set to renew their pursuit of PSV forward Cody Gakpo, while AC Milan striker Rafael Leao is also on manager Erik ten Hag’s radar for 2023.

Erik ten Hag, manager of Manchester United, wants to sign PSV Eindhoven forward Cody Gakpo and AC Milan forward Rafael Leao to bolster his attacking ranks.

Gakpo has long been a target for the Red Devils, and he appeared set to leave the Eredivisie club this summer, with Old Trafford looking to be his most likely destination. The 23-year-old has attracted Premier League interest and has spoken openly about United’s interest in him.

The Netherlands international – who has scored in each of his side’s opening two World Cup matches – has stayed at PSV this campaign as United instead opted to sign Antony from Ajax. But the Red Devils are set to re-enter the market in January for a new forward player.

United have saved £16million on wages with their former highest-earning star, Cristiano Ronaldo, ending his relationship with the club by mutual consent this week, following his bombshell interview with Piers Morgan. His exit has further depleted his club’s attacking ranks.

Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial are the only remaining senior strikers at the club, with Antony, Anthony Elanga, Alejandro Garnacho, and Jadon Sancho the options in the wide forward positions. However, United is short in attacking numbers as Ten Hag prefers to play three forward players. With a busy schedule ahead, the Dutchman wants signings.

A report from ESPN has reinforced the information that Gakpo is a prime target for United during the January transfer window following Ronaldo’s exit. The Dutchman is primarily a left-sided attacking player but is also comfortable playing centrally.

His versatility is highly valued by Ten Hag and the manager has shown that Rashford can often be selected in the central attacking position, which would facilitate Gakpo playing on the left and Antony on the right in his first-choice attacking line-up, with Sancho, Elanga, Martial and Garnacho as worthy back-ups.

season and already chalking up seven strikes in 20 appearances this campaign. The 23-year-old netted in Portugal’s World Cup victory over Ghana.

While it is unlikely that more than one attacker will be added to United’s ranks in the January transfer window, it is clear that Ten Hag is insistent on strengthening his squad, with the wages freed up by Ronaldo’s exit making such a move financially feasible.

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