Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag could stumble upon ‘sensible’ £25m striker signing by accident

ten Hag slams 'naive' Man Utd after defeat to Brentford

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Manchester United signing Sasa Kalajdzic would be a “sensible” piece of business, claims Bundesliga commentator and expert Kevin Hatchard. United are in the market for a forward due to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Cristiano Ronaldo’s future at the club and could seal a deal for the Stuttgart ace for around £25million.

Kalajdzic has emerged as a potential option for United in the last few days. The Austria international has 22 goals in 50 top-flight appearances in Germany since being promoted with Stuttgart in 2020.

With Ronaldo still wanting to leave the Red Devils, manager Erik ten Hag is looking at options in the market. United faced strong criticism for their interest in Marko Arnautovic earlier this month.

But Hatchard believes Kalajdzic would actually be a smart signing. He told Sky Sports News: “Manchester United might’ve been linked with a sensible player for one, maybe. Because he would fit them I think.

“He’s very tall, 6ft 7, but what he isn’t is a classic target man. You wouldn’t just lump the ball up to him, he can play.

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“It’s that old school Peter Crouch thing of ‘good touch for a big man’. He’s a guy that, when he’s fit, he scores goals. He’s done it in a poor Stuttgart team.”

Hatchard claims Stuttgart would be open to selling the 25-year-old for around £25m. However, he admits his injury record is a concern, following long-term knee and shoulder problems earlier in his career.

Hatchard added: “The concern would be he’s had a couple of serious injuries, so that would have to be factored into the thinking. But what you’ve got to bear in mind is that Stuttgart is a selling club.

“What they do is they bring in young talent, they develop it and they sell it on. I think there is an acceptance if there’s a bid of around €30m (£25m), that’s a deal that could be done.

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“I think there’s an element of risk but he is a good player, there’s no question about that.” Ten Hag had a tall striker when managing Ajax last season in Sebastien Haller.

Hatchard says Kalajdzic can fit into the Dutchman’s style of play in a similar way. Though he admits it appears to be an “accident” that United have stumbled upon him as a target.

Hatchard concluded: “There’s no reason why [he won’t suit Ten Hag’s style]. Sebastien Haller we know is a big strong striker and like Kalajdzic has decent technique as well and is a lot more than just somebody who just stays up top and waits for crosses.

“So in Ten Hag’s system that could work. And I think certainly this would be a step forward in terms of what United are trying to do.

“But it almost feels like it might be by accident because it does still feel a bit scattergun. But if Kalajdzic does go there, I think that’s a decent step forward for them.”

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