Exclusive: Ten Hag is a big fan versatile star but Man United might pursue different kind of transfer

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is a big fan of his former player Mohammed Kudus after working with him at Ajax.

The Ghana international has been in superb form this season, and Man Utd have looked at him in recent times, though their preference is for more of an out-and-out striker, according to Ben Jacobs in this week’s exclusive CaughtOffside column.

Kudus looks like he could have plenty to offer the Red Devils or other big clubs, but it seems his preference for more of an attacking midfield role might mean he’s not exactly what Ten Hag and co. are looking for this summer.

“Mohammed Kudus is a genuine possibility as well, which shows Manchester United are lining up lots of options. This is normal when you know top players will be tricky to negotiate for and there are a range of other serious suitors,” Jacobs said.

Mohammed Kudus in action for Ajax

“Manchester United actually looked at Kudus in January, but never advanced anything. Erik ten Hag is a big fan having worked with the Ghanaian at Ajax. We saw at the World Cup just how clinical and intelligent Kudus is. He has a tremendous touch and is very aware of his surroundings. He currently has 18 goals in 35 games for Ajax in all competitions.

“Kudus is one to watch for sure, but ten Hag must first decide if he’s the right positional fit. Kudus has been playing as a forward for Ajax, but actually prefers an attacking midfield role. Although versatility is always welcome, Manchester United’s key priority is an out-and-out striker. An automatic goalscorer is more important than a flexible playmaker right now. Kudus could be that, but he’s been clear in the past where he wants to play.”

Jacobs has also provided an update on United’s interest in Napoli striker Victor Osimhen, saying that they are ‘very serious’ about trying to get a deal done for the in-form Nigeria international.

“Manchester United desperately want a new flagship striker and tried for Osimhen before his move to Napoli,” Jacobs said.

“The Nigerian forward didn’t think the move was right due to fears over game time. Whereas his close friend Odion Ighalo, who was on loan at Manchester United at the time, was a factor in putting him off (since he felt like the Nigerian would be ahead of him for minutes), now Ighalo has told Osimhen Manchester United would be a strong fit. Manchester United are very serious about Osimhen.”

One imagines it won’t be easy to land a talent like Osimhen, but he currently seems more realistic than Kudus.

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