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Man. United forced to be ‘creative’ by financial rule restrictions

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag said he will have to be “creative” after financial restrictions ensured he could not add another striker during the January transfer window.

United were unable to add to their squad with the Red Devils close to limits of spending imposed by the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules (PSR) after splashing out over £200 million in the summer window.

“I think it’s not a secret that I wanted a striker extra,” said Ten Hag, after United snatched a 4-3 win at Wolves on Thursday.

“Because with the injury of (Anthony) Martial we don’t really have back-up there, but it was not possible because we have to match the FFP (financial fair play) rules.”

It was a quiet window all round in the Premier League with English clubs spending just a combined £100 million with many constrained by PSR.

Everton were docked 10 points earlier this season for exceeding the permitted losses of £105 million over a three-year period at the end of the 2021/22 season.

“There are some disadvantages on FFP,” Ten Hag added.

“So, to make space for FFP, you actually have to sell players and you have to sell good players and I don’t think that’s the way how you build a team.”

United were rescued by 18-year-old Kobbie Mainoo at Molineux after blowing a two-goal lead late on against Wolves.

Ten Hag’s faith in Marcus Rashford was rewarded as the England international scored just five minutes in.

Rashford was fined after he missed training last week after spending two nights out in Belfast.

Rasmus Hojlund quickly doubled the visitors lead in what was arguably the best first 45 minutes from Ten Hag’s men this season.

Scott McTominay restored United’s two-goal lead after Pablo Sarabia’s penalty had pulled a goal back for Wolves in the second half.

But the visitors looked set to throw away the win when Max Kilman and Pedro Neto struck in the final five minutes plus stoppage time.

However, Mainoo had the final say with a brilliant solo run and finish in the 97th minute that led Hojlund to describe his teammate as a “generational talent.”

“A little bit annoyed because we switch off a little bit but so happy for us in the end. A generational talent in Kobbie Mainoo. He did well,” said the Dane, who himself has now scored four times in his last five games.

“It’s very cool to have other young players around the team and hopefully we can set an era for the club and be here many years together.”

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