Manchester United’s busy plans for the summer transfer window could see the list of tasks extended following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s latest admission.
The club are in the market for a central defensive partner for Harry Maguire, a central midfielder and a right-sided forward, being involved in talks with Borussia Dortmund to sign Jadon Sancho to fill the latter position.
United have also reignited their interest in Atletico Madrid full-back Kieran Trippier, while Tom Heaton is set to be the first addition in a free transfer from Aston Villa.
However, Solskjaer has also left the door open for a move for a leading striker this summer despite the extension handed to Edinson Cavani.
“It takes time to get in shape, even if he takes care of himself. He got some injuries and little things that bothered him, and it is only recently that we have begun to see some of the best of him. When he gets this experience and a run-up, he will be better than this year, despite the fact that he is getting older,” he said about the veteran forward.
“I am very happy that it has happened, but that does not mean that we are not looking for someone who can challenge or learn from him.”
That admission means there is clearly a possibility that a new forward could be arriving at Old Trafford this summer but what are the options? We’ve taken a look here.
Which striker would you like Manchester United to sign? Let us know in the comments below.
Any club in European football looking for a striker in the next few years are certainly likely to have Erling Haaland at the top of their shortlist, following a sensational 18-month period with Borussia Dortmund.
The 20-year-old has netted 43 Bundesliga goals in 40 matches, as well as shining in the Champions League and domestic competitions, with United holding a long-term interest in the Norwegian.
Dortmund are determined to retain the striker’s services for at least another year but a departure is almost guaranteed in 12 months’ time, with a reported release clause at an affordable £68m set to cause a frenzy in the market.
If United were to jump to the front of the queue with a move this year, it would certainly cost in excess of £100m, which can be considered to be extremely unlikely.
Harry Kane is pushing to leave Tottenham this summer and a move to Manchester is highly fancied, with both United and Manchester City candidates for his signature.
The England captain would command a hefty price, at least £70m, but is a proven source of goals at Premier League level and should have no problems settling into life at Old Trafford if a move was to be triggered.
Negotiating with Spurs and Daniel Levy is no easy task though and there may be concerns about the forward’s age and injury history, particularly with the extension to last season, the European Championships this summer and the World Cup next year.
The sticking point for United, which may persuade them to clinch a transfer, is the damage the forward could cause if a rival side were to land his signature.
Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin has improved significantly in recent years and the 24-year-old has regularly been touted for a move to Old Trafford.
Many have made the move from Goodison Park to Manchester, including Romelu Lukaku, and the departure of Carlo Ancelotti from Merseyside may have changed the thinking from Everton’s most important players, with Calvert-Lewin among them.
While the Sheffield-born forward wouldn’t necessarily jump to the front of the queue in United’s pecking order down the middle, he could be an option to develop and learn from Cavani over the course of next year.
A total of 29 goals in the Premier League over the past two seasons is a solid return and those numbers would be expected to grow at United due to the additional creativity.
Another striker regularly touted for a move to Old Trafford, Andre Silva has got his career back on track with Eintracht Frankfurt.
A difficult spell with AC Milan, which saw a return of just two goals in 25 league matches, was followed by better — although still largely unconvincing — loan spell in Spain with Sevilla. However, his form in Germany has been sensational.
After scoring 12 goals in 25 matches on loan for Frankfurt, he has since hit 28 goals in 32 matches since making the move permanent — putting him back under consideration for a number of other clubs across Europe.
However, that difficult spell with Milan and the shaky loan stint with Sevilla could stand against him in comparison to other targets.
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Romelu Lukaku may be top of the list when thinking about Inter Milan strikers, but Lautaro Martinez remains extremely highly rated and is considered to be one to watch over the next few years.
Inter are reported to be lining-up potential replacements for the 23-year-old Argentine, amid speculation the likes of Atletico Madrid or Real Madrid could make a move to sign the forward.
Martinez contributed 17 goals in Inter’s Serie A title-winning campaign, featuring in every match, building upon 14 goals the previous year. On international level, the young striker has already made his mark with 11 goals in 22 caps.
Touted as the man to succeed Sergio Aguero as his nation’s leading striker, Martinez could learn a lot from Cavani before becoming the undisputed first-choice striker at Old Trafford.