‘Top players don’t leave in January’ – Erik ten Hag doesn’t want mid-season Manchester United signings

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag reacts during his side's Premier League defeat to Arsenal in January 2023.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag doesn’t expect to bring in new signings in January as he believes “top players” don't leave their clubs mid-season. 

The Red Devils have had a difficult start to the season domestically and in Europe and Ten Hag has come under pressure.

With the festive period approaching, United sit sixth in the Premier League and are on the verge of a group stage exit from the Champions League - bar a dramatic final-day turnaround.

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag applaids the fans after his side's 3-1 defeat to Brighton at Old Trafford in September 2023.

Ten Hag's side have struggled this season  (Image credit: Getty Images)

But Ten Hag dismissed rumours of new arrivals at Old Trafford.

“I don’t think [we need to bring in any new players in January] — and, if so, the approach from United should be that if you can improve your team, then you should do,” he told United We Stand.  

“What we expect from every player coming to Carrington every day is for them to give their maximum, to give their best.

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag looks dejected after defeat to Crystal Palace at Old Trafford in September 2023.

Ten Hag doesn't think the January market offers good value (Image credit: Getty Images)

“As a club, you have to look for improvements, so if you can find better and it’s realistic financially and with financial fair play, I think the club has to go with it.”

Ten Hag made his feelings perfectly clear about the difficulties that clubs face in trying to find value in the January window.

“Realistically, in relation to the market, most of the time you don’t attract the best players in the winter,” he said.

“The top, top players will not leave their clubs in the winter. It’s players who are disappointed, injured or just not the right fit or whatever.

“We have to develop and progress this team. In reality, we go to the next summer window and there will be new players coming in.” 

United made seven signings over the summer, including the captures of Mason Mount, Andre Onana and Rasmus Hojlund.  

More Manchester United stories 

Manchester United have been linked with a move for Atletico Madrid and France star Antoine Griezmann. Meanwhile, a former Barcelona defender could potentially be on his way to Old Trafford.

Marcus Rashford could also be set to join him, having agreed personal terms with Barcelona. 

Almost half a year after leaving Manchester United as a free agent, David de Gea could be close to sealing a move to a new club. Meanwhile, Erik ten Hag has defended his training methods as the injuries pile up – with Mason Mount the latest player set for a spell on the sidelines.

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