Erik ten Hag has asked Manchester United to explore the possibility of making a January signing to replace Cristiano Ronaldo with the club looking at a shortlist of options including Cody Gakpo and Rafael Leao, sources have told ESPN.

United were not planning to make significant additions to the squad in January after spending more than £220 million on new players in the summer.

But after Ronaldo's departure -- which will save the club around £15m in wages -- Ten Hag has asked for a selection of forwards to be monitored in case one becomes available in the next window.

Sources have told ESPN that the United manager understands the financial constraints after the larger-than-expected outlay in the summer but remains concerned that Ronaldo's exit will leave him short of options for the second half of the season.