Man Utd agreement between Murtough and Fletcher speaks volumes

Man Utd's next six Premier League fixtures

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Manchester United fans hoping to see a new striker arrive next month shouldn’t necessarily hold their breath. John Murtough and Darren Fletcher reportedly accept that landing a new No 9 will be difficult, especially in January. And that speaks volumes about the difficulties Erik ten Hag is facing at Old Trafford as he looks to steer the fallen giants back into the Champions League at the first time of asking.

Manchester United know they need a new striker this winter following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, who left by mutual consent last month.

They had been considered frontrunners in the race to land Cody Gakpo, only for the Netherlands international to move to Liverpool instead.

United have been linked with numerous strikers, ranging from Joao Felix to Alvaro Morata, Memphis Depay to Goncalo Ramos.

According to the Mirror, however, there’s an acceptance between Murtough and Fletcher that landing a new No 9 in January will be difficult.

And that stance suggests that, while Erik ten Hag has insisted the Red Devils are on the lookout for a new marksman, United fans shouldn’t get their hopes up.

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While Felix is available for loan, United don’t want to spend big on a temporary deal for the Atletico Madrid hitman.

Any incomings will have to make financial sense and, with the Glazers recently putting the club on the market, the Americans are reluctant to spend too lavishly at the current moment in time.

It’s hard to see Atletico letting Morata go, either, especially with the Spain international now playing regularly over in La Liga.

It’s a similar story with Benfica and Ramos, especially in the wake of the youngster’s impressive hat-trick for Portugal at the World Cup in Qatar.

And though Barcelona are open to letting Depay go, United may not deem him worthy enough given how badly his stint at Old Trafford went earlier in his career.

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That Murtough and Fletcher are in agreement over the January transfer window suggests the Red Devils may have to wait until the summer before adding to their squad.

So that would mean relying on Anthony Martial until the end of the season, with the France international netting five goals from nine games so far this term.

While Martial has talent, there’s two issues when it comes to the 27-year-old.

One is his injury problems, with the forward spending more time on the sidelines than on the pitch throughout 2022.

And the other is his inconsistency, an issue that has plagued him ever since his arrival from Monaco back in the summer transfer window of 2015.

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Speaking after United’s recent 3-0 win over Nottingham Forest, meanwhile, Patrice Evra urged Martial to score more goals.

He told Amazon Prime Sport: “I am happy with Martial and I talked with him after the game. I said that I want more goals from him.

“I also told him that I want him to stay fit. It is really important and I think that is why the manager took him off. He wants to take care of his fitness, as well.”

And Evra also hailed Casemiro for his display against Forest, branding the Brazilian a ‘soldier’ as he ran the show in the middle of the park.

Evra added: “Casemiro was my man of the match. What a soldier!

“He was doing everything. He was the one doing that amazing tackle.

“Let’s not forget Bruno Fernandes here with the pass to Marcus Rashford.

“With his quality, like we say, on the wing he is more effective with putting the ball across to Martial.”

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