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Man United tracking Ajax’s Brobbey but January deal unlikely

Manchester United are tracking Netherlands striker Brian Brobbey but the chance of a January deal is being played down, a source has told ESPN.

United manager Erik ten Hag has been keen to sign Brobbey from former club Ajax since his first summer at Old Trafford.

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Enquiries were made about his availability in 2022 but the club spent their budget on other targets including Brazil winger Antony.

Ten Hag is still interested in Brobbey, who has scored 15 goals for Ajax this season, and even though he would like to make additions to his squad in January, he has been told that finances, particularly for permanent deals, remain tight.

The Netherlands international would provide cover up front for Rasmus Højlund and Marcus Rashford while Anthony Martial, who is managing a hip injury, is set to stay in January despite the club being willing to listen to offers.

However, Brobbey, who scored twice in Ajax’s 4-1 win over RKC Waalwijk on Sunday, played down reports of a January move to United in a post match news conference.

“I’ll just stay in Amsterdam,” Brobbey said. “I think Erik [ten Hag] has someone else on his mind now. I also have a different telephone number.”

United are open to making signings this month if an opportunity presents itself but their main aim in the window has been to ease their financial concerns ahead of the summer.

The club have already sanctioned a number of outgoings including Jadon Sancho, Donny van de Beek, Sergio Reguilón, Hannibal Mejbri, Álvaro Fernández, Joe Hugill and Mateo Mejia.

With Martial expected to leave on a free transfer in the summer, United are looking at bringing in another forward, and Brobbey is likely to be part of the conversation, particularly if Ten Hag stays on as manager after an overhaul led by Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS.

The British billionaire has made his first major appointment since agreeing to buy a 25% stake with the announcement on Saturday that Omar Berrada will join as CEO following his resignation as chief football operations officer at Manchester City.

United are yet to announce Berrada’s start date while they continue to wait for Ratcliffe’s agreement to be ratified by the Premier League. Ratcliffe and his team are expecting the green light to officially begin work in February.

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