Erik ten Hag ready to deliver third and final Man Utd knockout blow to Ajax with bid for £35m-rated attacker

Jurrien Timber and Mohammed Kudus of Ajax Credit: Alamy
Jurrien Timber and Mohammed Kudus of Ajax Credit: Alamy

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag is reportedly ready to raid his old club Ajax for a third time in six months in his efforts to bring in a new attacker.

The Red Devils chief is scouring Europe for a new forward following Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit and has been linked with numerous options to replace the Old Trafford legend. However, it now appears that he could head back to Holland to get his man.

A report from the Daily Star states that highly-rated star Mohammed Kudus is once again on Ten Hag’s radar.

The 22-year-old, who impressed for Ghana at the Qatar World Cup, is capable of playing up front. However, he can also feature as a No.10 and Ten Hag loves the versatility he could bring.

Having already landed Lisandro Martinez and Antony from Ajax, it would be another sucker-punch for the Dutch outfit if their old boss comes calling again.

However, they are not willing to let Kudus leave on the cheap and rate him in the £35million bracket.

The talented attacker almost joined Everton back in August but the Toffees couldn’t get a deal done.

And now it appears that he could be Premier League bound again. But only if Ten Hag gets his way and Ajax are actually willing to sell.

The Daily Star adds that the United boss is aware that his former employers want to maximise profits on the player. Indeed, they could end up more than quadrupling the £7.9m they coughed up for Kudus to sign him from Danish club Nordsjaelland in 2020.

United working to tight January budget

The one stumbling block, however, appears to be United not being willing to overpay for targets – given the fact the Glazers are still looking to sell or receive a partial investment in the club.

Ten Hag is now believed to be working on a limited budget. That’s despite the club saving £15m in wages following Ronaldo’s acrimonious exit.

The Dutchman was, however, miffed at United missing out to rivals Liverpool in the chase for Cody Gakpo.

To that end, he wants the club to act faster when targets are identified. So as to avoid another Gakpo scenario.

One new signing is already virtually through the door after Jack Butland agreed a six-month loan. He could also extend that deal by a further year, if he impresses at Old Trafford.

Ten Hag working hard to bolster squad

However, it’s up front where Ten Hag really does need to do some business. And the Dutchman has admitted that himself.

“I think we have a good team when all the players are available, but with many games coming up, I think there is a need [for one],” the Red Devils boss admitted on New Year’s Eve. “But you need one who can have an impact. Otherwise you are just burning money and you don’t strengthen the squad. It doesn’t help you.

“There are so many games coming and we need a squad for that. And also to get a better balance in the squad, we are aiming for that. We are always looking for better.

“We are orientating and we are making an effort to strengthen the squad. But I can’t tell you anything about it in this moment. When we can do, we will do it straight away.”

United have also been linked with the likes of Joao Felix, Antoine Griezmann, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Dusan Vlahovic in their search for new forward talent.

However, if the Star’s report is to be believed then it could end up being a third Ajax man through the door before the winter window shuts on January 31.

United are next in action on Friday night when they host Everton in the FA Cup third round.

READ MORE: Plot thickens over future of Arsenal, Man Utd striker target after being dropped from squad by LaLiga giants

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