Football: Ten Hag keen to bolster attacking options before transfer window shuts

Erik ten Hag was concerned about the depth of his squad and wants to bring in options before the transfer window closes on Sept 1. PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (REUTERS) - Manchester United need to strengthen the squad before the end of the transfer window if they want to compete for silverware next season, manager Erik ten Hag said on Friday (July 22).

United, who finished sixth in the Premier League last season, have brought in Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen, Dutch left-back Tyrell Malacia and Argentine defender Lisandro Martinez.

Only Malacia has been able to join the squad on their pre-season tour.

Ten Hag was happy with how his midfield and attack were shaping up but was concerned about the depth of his squad over a long season and wants to bring in options before the transfer window closes on Sept 1.

"You need more options in offence. It's vital if you want to get success, the season is really long but we have time to fill that in," he told reporters before United finish their Australia tour with Saturday's friendly against Aston Villa in Perth.

"We signed Eriksen for the midfield department, so we are really happy with that. I'm really happy with the performance from our midfield and offence department in this moment.

"But I also know this season (has) a lot of games, the World Cup, so we need more options. You have a good team, but it is not only about the team, you need a good squad to get the right results at the end of the season."

The future of Cristiano Ronaldo remains the subject of intense speculation but while ten Hag did not give an indication when he would return to training, he said he was looking forward to working with him.

The 37-year-old has missed United's pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia due to a family issue.

"I focus on the players who are there and they are doing really well, they are in a good shape. I cannot wait for him to come in and then we will integrate him," said ten Hag.

United begin the new campaign with a home game against Brighton and Hove Albion on Aug 7.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.