Manchester United have allowed a free agent to be involved in first-team training this week ahead of Sunday’s Premier League clash against Aston Villa, according to reports.
Erik ten Hag didn’t bring in a single player during the January transfer window, with Jadon Sancho, Donny van de Beek, Hannibal Mejbri, Facundo Pellestri and Alvaro Fernandez being loaned out.
Several names were linked with a move to Old Trafford, including Jarrad Branthwaite, Jean-Clair Todibo, and Ronald Araujo, but the Premier League’s financial regulations restricted spending.
Ten Hag was keen on signing a striker on deadline day to ease the burden on Rasmus Hojlund, who has been in superb form for United of late, but those plans were scuppered.
“It’s not a secret that I wanted a striker extra,” the Dutchman said last week. “Because with the injury of Martial, we don’t have back-up there, but it was not possible because we have to match the Financial Fair Play rules.”
Ten Hag added: “We have Omari (Forson), we have Amad Diallo, of course, we have Rashford who can play there. I think for the rest, all the positions are occupied.
“But, yeah, we have to be a little bit creative if it’s up to the number nine position.”
Much to Ten Hag’s frustration, United failed to improve their options in forward positions last month, but they could add another experienced goalkeeper to the first-team fold.
Joe Lewis, who left Scottish Premiership side Aberdeen in the summer after a seven-year spell that featured over 250 appearances, has been training with United in recent weeks, according to theManchester Evening News.
The 36-year-old former England U21 international reportedly requested to come in and train at Carrington, and one of United’s coaches agreed. He has mostly been training with the academy side.
But he took part in a session alongside back-up goalkeepers Altay Bayindir and Tom Heaton ahead of Sunday’s game against Aston Villa.
Lewis left Aberdeen with one year left on his deal after he lost his place to Kelle Roos.
“I have a year left but spoke to the club because I didn’t want to just drag it out for the sake of having another year,” he toldThe Heraldin July.
“I feel it has come to a natural end, I have so many good memories on and off the field.”
TheMENgo on to state that there is no suggestion Lewis will sign for United but back-up goalkeeper Tom Heaton is expected to leave at the end of the season as he seeks regular minutes.