Manchester United are reportedly set to make contact with FC Porto over a January raid for experienced striker Mehdi Taremi as details emerged of the lowly sum required to bring the prolific frontman to Old Trafford.
The Red Devils are enduring an extremely difficult campaign having already lost nine of their opening 17 games – their worst run of results since the 1973/74 season which resulted in their relegation from the old Division One. While Manchester United are not in any obvious (!) danger of demotion, they are staring down the barrel of an early exit from the Champions League.
They also currently sit some six points adrift of the top four in the Premier League, though they could yet find a path back into Europe’s premier competition next season in the wake of UEFA’s plans to roll out an expanded Champions League competition in the 2024/25 season.
Either way, United’s struggles now have heaped the pressure on Ten Hag, who is facing increasing question marks over his future.
Our exclusive that a number of senior United stars are beginning to question Ten Hag’s tactics, substitutions and transfer decisions will not have helped the situation.
And reports former Wolves boss Julen Lopetgeui was waiting for United’s call should the axe fall on Ten Hag will hardly have increased belief Ten Hag is safe in the Old Trafford hotseat.
Nonetheless, Paul Scholes is adamant that, in response to United’s hugely-disappointing 4-3 Champions League defeat to FC Copenhagen that Ten Hag still has the backing and support of the United board.
The legendary star, however, did call Old Trafford a ‘graveyard for managers’, having also outlined Ten Hag’s biggest problem at United.
Ten Hag targets Man Utd move for Mehdi Taremi
As a result, Ten Hag is reportedly still battling on as United boss and plans to further strengthen their squad are beginning to gather pace ahead of the opening of the January window.
Among Ten Hag’s targets are believed to be a new centre-half and another striker, with the latter needed to take some of the heat of young forward Rasmus Hojlund.
The Dane arrived in a hefty £72m deal from Atalanta over the summer, with many feeling the Red Devils had overpaid for the striker. The fee for the 20-year-old is perhaps as much about his potential as much as anything else.
And while Hojlund is yet to open his account in the Premier League, he does boast five goals in four Champions League outings, placing him alongside former Chelsea man Alvaro Morata at the top of the scoring charts.
Nonetheless, there is a feeling that Hojlund alone is not enough to burden the goalscoring responsibility at Man Utd.
And with Marcus Rashford off form and the likes of Antony, Alejandro Garnacho and the excluded Jadon Sancho not able to contribute, it is easy to see why Ten Hag is looking to add another frontman to his mix.
Now, according to reports in Italy, Ten Hag is putting the wheels in motion to bring Porto striker Taremi to Old Trafford in the January window.
The 31-year-old has been a prolific source of goals for the Portuguese giants since a summer 2020 move from Rio Ave. However, the four-year deal he signed at the time is due to expire this summer, leaving Porto vulnerable to his free-transfer departure in the summer.
Tempting fee to see United land Iran international striker
However, in order to prevent losing him for nothing, Porto are open to his sale in January – and have seemingly put a lowly sum on his head.
Indeed, we exclusively revealed last week that Taremi is one of four striker options United are considering in the January window to take some of the heat off, and play alongside, Hojlund.
Now it has emerged that, after talks with his agent, United have a seriously strong chance of landing the 72-times capped striker, who scored twice against England at the 2022 World Cup.
Indeed, per the report, it would cost a mere €10m (£8.7m) to sign the 31-year-old in the winter window.
Furthermore, United have also learned that the striker would be seeking wages of €4.5m a year after tax, which equates to a take-home pay of some £75,000 a week.
Understandably, United are reportedly looking seriously into the potential deal, and feel it could represent seriously good value for money in the modern market.
Prolific (and out and out) strikers are hard to come by in this day with the sizeable fee recently paid by Bayern Munich for Harry Kane an example of the type of expenditure required.
Indeed, Taremi’s agent has reportedly made clear his client is seeking a three-and-a-half-year, taking him through to the summer of 2027.
In total, the deal would cost an estimated €30m (£26.2m) when factoring in transfer fees and player wages – a drop in the ocean for the game’s top sides.
Understandably, United are not alone in pursuit of the striker.
Tottenham are also reportedly keen on Taremi with Ange Postecoglou looking to fill the hole in his side created by Kane’s summer departure.
In addition, Taremi’s agent has also held talks with Inter Milan, who themselves are seeking more firepower in the January window having lost Romelu Lukaku over the summer.