Erik ten Hag said on Wednesday that he was counting on Cristiano Ronaldo this season for Manchester United.
“It’s clear, of course, we need quality players,” Ten Haag said when asked about his unsettled Portuguese star on the day before the summer transfer window closes.
“You need more and to cover all the games to keep the consistency going, that’s what we strive for,” he told a press conference.
“From now on, we go in three games a week.
“We will go from September to minimum January with this squad.”
Since the conclusion of last season, when United failed to qualify for the Champions League, Ronaldo has demanded a move.
The Portuguese striker, who is 37 years old, has scored 15 more goals than Lionel Messi, who is more than two years younger and will compete in the Champions League this season with Paris Saint-Germain.
Ronaldo has been unable to draw bids from Europe’s elite teams, with the most recent rumours tying him to his previous club Sporting Lisbon, as well as Napoli and Marseille.
Ronaldo has started just one of United’s four league games this season, the 4-0 defeat at Brentford.
Although United announced on their website on Tuesday that they had struck an agreement to purchase Brazilian forward Antony from Ajax, Ten Haag remained tight-lipped over the player.
“Firstly, I have to sign him! There’s an agreement between the clubs but the paperwork is not done so I cannot go too deep into that,” he said.
United are apparently paying Ajax a set price of £80,6 million plus a further £4.2 million in add-ons for the 22-year-old player, who has yet to undergo a medical.
Ten Haag also revealed that Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka was set to join the club. Apparently, the goalie has passed his physical.
Ten Haag said that fullback Aaron Wan-Bissaka will not go.
Ten Haag want additional attackers despite the acquisition of Antony and the retention of Ronaldo.
“In the offensive department we needed to strengthen the squad. Offensive players fatigue quicker. They have to run more with high intensity.” he said.
“We need numbers there. We need not just quantity but quality.”
He suggested that United had finished their transfer business unless something unexpected came up.
“For this window, it will be the end,” he said. “You always have to be alert at a top club. But we will go from September to minimum January with this squad.”
United began the season with two defeats, at home to Brighton and away to Brentford, but have since climbed into the middle of the league with one-goal victory against Liverpool and Southampton.
United travel to Leicester on Wednesday night before hosting current league leaders Arsenal on Sunday, when Antony may be available.
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