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Former Manchester United first-team coach Rene Meulensteen has backed Erik ten Hag’s pursuit of Burnley striker Wout Weghorst in January.

The Red Devils are on the lookout for a forward in the transfer window following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo in November.

But Weghorst emerged as another option on Friday – but a deal is a complicated one to complete.

That is because the Dutch international is currently on loan at Besiktas from the Clarets, and the Turkish side have an option to buy the 30-year-old at the end of his loan. There is no break clause that exists in his loan contract either.

Therefore, any bid that United make for the striker needs to be presented by Burnley to Besiktas, who will then agree or reject the proposal. Club director Ceyhun Kazanci stated that Besiktas would require compensation to allow Weghorst to leave.

Manchester Evening News have reported that Ten Hag’s side have already had a loan bid rejected, but are set to offer improved terms.

The deal has been met with confusion by some supporters, given that Weghorst only scored two goals for Burnley in the Premier League last season after signing for them in January. He failed to help them stay in the division, and was quickly loaned out upon their relegation to the Championship with the player focused on making Louis van Gaal’s World Cup squad.

But Meulensteen, who coached United under Sir Alex Ferguson, believes Ten Hag has made the correct decision in chasing the striker, who scored at a goal every other game for Bundesliga club Wolfsburg over 118 league appearances.

Meulensteen on Ten Hag and Weghorst

Speaking to BBC Sport, the ex-Fulham boss said: “Ten Hag knows what he is doing, for sure. He [Weghorst] is 30 years old, so it is a stop-gap because of the ongoing rumours with the takeover of new owners.

“That is probably the reason Ten Hag is being forced to do loan deals. He needs to do something in the transfer window though, so in this case it’s better to go with someone you know.

“It is not one for the long term, but it is somebody who can do a job for them in the short term, especially in the latter stages of a game when they need to force something.”

If Weghorst does sign for United, fans will hope he can prove to be a valuable squad option and help to bring success to Old Trafford this season.