Manchester United head coach Erik ten Hag has said that his side will be ready to “strike” in the transfer market, with the club looking to boost their squad before the window closes.
The Red Devils made it back-to-back victories in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon with a 1-0 success at Southampton; Bruno Fernandes netted the only goal of the contest, and the victory moved Man United into sixth position in the table.
Ten Hag said that he was pleased with his side’s performance but has insisted that there is still “room for improvement” in the coming weeks.
“I think the players learnt some lessons from Brentford. We were more compact on the long balls. Of course we were really happy. The goal we created, we could have made more. You hope to have more control in the last 30 minutes of the game,” Ten Hag told BT Sport.
“Before half time we already had the best chance of the game. I was satisfied. At the start of the game we could have created more. It is the start of the season, it is tough. You have to battle and we did that today so we were rewarded.
“It was a fantastic finish. I am really happy for Bruno [Fernandes]. But I think it was the best part of us. We kept control straight after half time. We moved it around and we created three really good chances straight after half time and that is how I want us to play.
“I still feel there is room for improvement, to control more, but we are not that long in our way. We can improve that is clear.”
When asked about the unsettled Cristiano Ronaldo, and the club’s plans for the remainder of the transfer window, Ten Hag said that the club will “stick to the plan” and will be ready to “strike” before the deadline.
“I cannot say that. We stick to the plan (regarding Ronaldo). If a good player is available we will strike. We will be alert until the last second of the window,” said the Dutchman when questioned on transfers.
Man United are believed to have had a bid in the region of £76m rejected by Ajax for Antony, but the club are allegedly still in talks with the Dutch champions over a possible summer deal.
Fernandes also spoke after the match, with the Portuguese hailing a “massive three points” for the club, who are next in action away to Leicester City on September 1.
“We knew it playing against Southampton, it is not easy. We have experienced that already. Sometimes you have to suffer. Every game is tough. Well done to us. Massive three points for us. Now we have to carry on,” the matchwinner told BT Sport.
“It’s important because one win or two wins don’t make the league. We have to carry on this sacrifice for the rest of the season. It is what this club demands. After Liverpool everyone could feel it. We set the standard so we have to carry on now and if we can, improve it.
“It was a great ball [for the goal], even great play from behind. Everything was perfect. Someone runs, someone gets the space behind. We did it well, so well done to everyone not just me.
“We did two or three seasons ago not losing from home but we want to win every game that’s what it’s about to play for Manchester United.”
Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes is believed to be in talks with Napoli over a return to Italy, with the 37-year-old keen to join a Champions League club before the transfer deadline.