Manchester United have reportedly drawn up a four-man striker shortlist for the January transfer window – but money is very tight at Old Trafford this month.
Despite Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s £1.3billion investment, United have little wriggle room when it comes to Financial Fair Play rules having spent big last summer.
Erik ten Hag would ideally bring in another striker to provide support to £72million signing Rasmus Hojlund.
Anthony Martial continues to be unreliable as back-up centre forward and Marcus Rashford is better deployed on the left side.
United have scored just 22 goals in 20 Premier League outings this season, yet oddly scored 12 in six during their ill-fated Champions League group stage.
Erik ten Hag would ideally bring in another striker during the January window with his Manchester United side misfiring in front of goal this season
Marcus Rashford rues a missed opportunity as United struggle for winning form this season
Billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe has arrived at Old Trafford but cash will still be at a premium
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The Athletic report a loan may be possible this month following on from Wout Weghorst’s temporary move from Burnley last season.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, the 34-year-old Bayern Munich forward, is named as one possibility.
He has started just three Bundesliga matches so far this season and completed just 519 minutes with Harry Kane in hot form for the German champions.
His Bayern team-mate Thomas Muller, also 34, is named as another option given his limited game time this season – but Muller has just extended his contract, making a move less likely.
United have been in touch with RB Leipzig over former Chelsea striker Timo Werner, who has scored twice in 14 games so far this season.
The Old Trafford club were linked with Werner, 27, before he made the move to Stamford Bridge in 2020.
The report adds that if United are able to raise funds from a player sale during January, alleviating their FFP pressures, they could move for Stuttgart hotshot Serhou Guirassy.
The Guinea international, 27, has been in blistering form all season with 19 goals in 16 outings.
Bayern Munich’s Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting has been named as a potential loan target
Another veteran forward, Bayern’s Thomas Muller, has also been linked with United
The former Chelsea striker Timo Werner, now back at RB Leipzig, has also been linked
Serhou Guirassy is in blistering form for Stuttgart, scoring 19 goals in 16 games this season
Guirassy reportedly has a release clause of £15.2m but even that would be a struggle for United given FFP limits.
He has also just been called up for the Africa Cup of Nations, which gets underway in the Ivory Coast on January 13.
Hojlund and Scott McTominay are United’s leading goalscorers so far this season with six apiece.
Bruno Fernandes and Alejandro Garnacho have five apiece, with Casemiro on four, Rashford three and Martial two.
United’s January business is mostly expected to concern outgoing players, with Donny van de Beek already sealing a loan move to Eintracht Frankfurt and Sergio Reguilon returning to Tottenham.
It came as Ratcliffe visited Old Trafford for the first time since the investment by Ineos was confirmed on Christmas Eve.
The billionaire, 71, will hold meetings at the stadium and also meet Ten Hag and the players at Carrington later in the week. The squad returns to training on Wednesday.
United were woeful as they slipped to defeat at Nottingham Forest with another poor display
Sir David Brailsford was seen sitting alongside Sir Alex Ferguson at the City Ground
Ratcliffe’s arrival follows a visit from his Ineos sporting director Sir Dave Brailsford who met Ten Hag and staff at Carrington on Sunday.
He was given a guided tour of the complex by United’s interim chief executive Patrick Stewart and football director John Murtough, having watched the last two games against Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa from the stands.
Although Ineos can’t have an active role in the running of United until Ratcliffe’s acquisition of 25 per cent of the club is ratified in February, this is seen as the start of a ‘looking, learning and listening’ exercise to help them get up to speed with operations and develop a plan to work with existing staff.