Ten Hag warned he’s sleepwalking into transfer blunder, with Man Utd urged to snatch rival’s best player instead

England stars Bukayo Saka, Harry Kane and Mason Mount

Erik ten Hag has been fired a warning over who he wants to replace Cristiano Ronaldo, with a former England manager instead urging him to do the unthinkable and sign a rival’s best player.

PSV Eindhoven’s Cody Gakpo is, by all accounts, Manchester United’s No 1 transfer target next month. The Netherlands ace has taken his game to new heights this year and has brought his remarkable form into the World Cup.

Gakpo is among a cluster of five players currently joint-top scoring in Qatar with three goals each. Among that quintet is the resurgent Marcus Rashford.

Gakpo first emerged on United’s radar over the summer, though Ten Hag prioritised the signing of Ajax’s Antony instead. The repercussions of delaying their Gakpo pursuit were recently laid bare by ESPN and Fabrizio Romano.

Man Utd have accelerated their plans to sign a centre-forward following Cristiano Ronaldo’s premature exit. They’re now on the hunt for a readymade replacement in January and Gakpo – who can play up front, though is primarily a left winger – is wanted.

However, via the Manchester Evening News, ex-England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson fired a warning Ten Hag’s way.

The Swede did talk highly of Gakpo who he believes would not need much time at all to adapt to the Premier League.

However, he questioned whether the 23-year-old is the right signing at the wrong time given he’s not an out-and-out centre-forward.

The fear there would be he’d become just another high profile name who can play up front, though isn’t specialised in doing so. In that scenario, he’d join the likes of Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford.

Sven names “perfect”, albeit “impossible” alternative

Instead, Eriksson urged Man Utd to push the boat out and do what Man City couldn’t by signing Harry Kane.

The Tottenham talisman was the subject of multiple bids north of £100m in the summer of 2021.

Spurs turned down each and every offer for their best player and Eriksson acknowledged a deal would be difficult, though Kane would be the “perfect” Ronaldo successor in his eyes.

“Gakpo would be very good for the Premier League and I’m certain he wouldn’t need that much time to adapt to the Premier League,” said the ex-England boss.

“The thing is that many clubs will have been watching him thirty or forty times.

“Ronaldo has gone now and Manchester United need an out and out number nine and Harry Kane seems the perfect fit.

“Kane could be impossible but they have to get something similar. Right now I don’t think Gakpo is the profile they need.”

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