Rio Ferdinand has revealed the name of the striker he wants Manchester United to go for this summer – and has explained why the capture of Wout Weghorst is the perfect addition for Erik ten Hag’s side.
The Red Devils had a striker vacancy to fill this month after Cristiano Ronaldo departed at the back end of last season. And while a number of high-profile targets were reportedly on their wanted list, Ten Hag ultimately plumped for Weghorst.
The towering Dutchman has signed a deal with United until the end of the season after ending his arrangement at Besiktas. And our transfer insider, Graeme Bailey, has revealed the prospects of Weghorst making the move permanent this summer.
Assessing the addition of Weghorst, Ferdinand reckons his signing represents smart business by United.
And the BT Sport pundit, speaking to 90min, believes he will be perfect addition for Ten Hag’s side.
“I think this is a Ten Hag signing, and it is actually just is going against what United were doing before. We were buying Falcao, Zlatan. We were buying names maybe before going ‘does this guy fit the way we want to play?’.
“This is very much not a fashionable signing, it’s not one that rolls off the tongue. But I think if you look at Ten Hag’s history, you look at Ajax, he took [Sebastien] Haller, who no one was taking in the Premier League, off of West Ham, and he becomes one of the most feared strikers in Holland.
“But also in Champions League football, he was up there with the top strikers in terms of goals in the couple of seasons he was there.”
Ferdinand wants Man Utd to sign Kylian Mbappe
“That type of player, a Weghorst, suits the way that Erik ten Hag wants to play if you look at Haller as the one example, so you can see why he would bring him. He’s got to have something about him.
“I don’t think you can judge him by the Burnley cameo [2 goals in 20 games in the Premier League last season], and I just think it’s about styles for Erik ten Hag, would he be able to fit into the way we play? In the way I want to play? Yes.
“Does he press, by the way? It’s a big part of Ten Hag’s football and this geezer does press. He’s good at that. So you can see the reason why his name would come up – he’s not the fashionable answer but it could be the effective answer.”
Further down the line, though, United will likely target a big-name striker to add to their attack. And if they secure a top-four finish, the return of Champions League football will certainly bolster those prospects as well as their funds.
Seveal big names have been linked with the club, including the likes of Goncalo Ramos and Mohammed Kudus.
However, assessing potential options for the club to sign, Ferdinand has one ambitious target in mind – Kylian Mbappe.
“There’s only one!” he joked. “There’s only one! Mbappe, that’s it! The only person you go for is Mbappe, he’s the best.”
Mbappe would likely command a fee of around £200m, while his reported wages at PSG are around £600,000 a week.
Asked if he has a more realistic target in mind, Ferdinand also had a clear Plan B for Ten Hag.
“That’s the problem. I’m talking dream case scenario. If we’re talking realistically, Man Utd are probably not going to be his next destination.
“If you can get Harry Kane, you’re guaranteed 20 goals, minimum. Job done.”
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