Manchester United have until 11pm tonight to sign a striker to bolster their injury-ravaged young side.
The scenario is complicated, with a number of names being bandied about, and with Chelsea and Spurs also in the hunt for attackers.
The highest profile name that United have the most realistic chance of signing is PSG’s Edinson Cavani.
The Uruguayan was expected to join Atletico Madrid this month after submitting a transfer request, but the deal has fallen through at the last minute due to a row over agent fees, according to AS.
Despite reported reservations over his fitness and salary, the Red Devils may decide to pounce for the Uruguayan international, who turns 33 in February. They may however face further competition from Frank Lampard’s Chelsea, who have been consistently linked with the player.
Cavani, PSG’s record goalscorer, would provide a world class, instant replacement for the injured Marcus Rashford.
Another striker who may be available is Real Sociedad’s Willian José, as we reported here yesterday. The 28-year-old Brazilian is also a target for Spurs and would be available on a loan deal. He would therefore represent a safer option than Cavani financially, but would be much more of a gamble from a quality perspective.
Meanwhile, the Old Trafford faithful will probably be relieved to hear that ‘United have distanced themselves from moves for the former Newcastle and West Bromwich Albion striker Salomon Rondon, and Belgium winger Yannick Carassco, who both play for Chinese club Dalian Yifang’, as reported in The Telegraph.
However, other less-than-stellar names such as former Watford man Odion Ighalo and Leicester City flop Islam Slimani remain on the table but would also be hugely disappointing signings from the fans’ perspective.
Chelsea may be willing to offload Olivier Giroud if they are successful in signing target Dries Mertens from Napoli, but it is unclear whether Lampard would be willing to let the Frenchman join a rival club. Moreover, he is hardly the type of player ‘who wants to break their nose to score a goal’ that Olé Gunnar Solskjaer wants.
Long term targets Timo Werner and Moussa Dembélé have both been declared ‘not for sale’ by their clubs, Red Bull Leipzig and Lyon, respectively.
One final name that might be an option is Real Madrid’s Luka Jovic. The 22-year-old Serbian was one of Europe’s hottest properties when he joined los Blancos just six months ago, but he has failed to make an impact at the Bernabeu. A loan deal might therefore be a great option for all concerned, but United would be wanting an option to buy which Madrid would be reluctant to offer.
We therefore believe that if Manchester United are successful in signing a striker before the window closes today, it will be Cavani, José or Jovic who will be photographed holding up that red shirt at midnight.