Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd striker chase blown wide open with three electric forwards all affected by boardroom decision

Napoli striker Victor Osimhen

Which high profile striker Man Utd will sign in the summer as their long-term Cristiano Ronaldo replacement has been blown wide open by a trusted reporter.

A severely restricted budget prevented Manchester United from acting on their interest in Cody Gakpo and Joao Felix this month. The Red Devils ultimately settled on a cheap and cheerful loan for Wout Weghorst, though the Dutch international is only viewed as a short-term fix.

The real Ronaldo replacement hunt will take place in the summer, with a series of high profile and lethal forwards already linked.

Tottenham talisman Harry Kane is one, with the 29-year-old’s future a hot topic of late.

Kane’s current contract expires in the summer of 2024 and the Independent’s Miguel Delaney stressed United will explore a move at season’s end.

Delaney also claimed Kane would be open to a move, though a subsequent report from the Athletic’s David Ornstein revealed Kane can also easily be convinced into extending his stay at Spurs.

In any case, if Kane were to leave Tottenham in the summer, the Telegraph’s Matt Law claimed a £100m move could get the deal done.

Elsewhere, Benfica’s Goncalo Ramos has been mentioned on the back of his hat-trick heroics at the World Cup.

The 21-year-old has 18 goals and seven assists at club level this season and his Benfica contract contains a whopping €120m (approx. £106m) release clause.

Delaney noted Erik ten Hag may favour pace when highlighting Napoli’s Victor Osimhen in his piece about Kane. The Nigeria international is a one-man wrecking ball up front and the energy and effort he puts into the defensive side of the game would be a godsend for Ten Hag.

Osimhen is currently firing Napoli towards their first Serie A title since the Diego Maradona days. He’s bagged an incredible 13 goals in 15 league matches this season, though understandably, he too could cost a nine-figure sum.

Now, Sky Germany’s Florian Plettenberg has blown Man Utd’s summer striker hunt wide open.

Osimhen no longer ‘top target’; Man Utd shopping in cheaper aisle

Plettenberg claimed Osimhen was in fact United’s ‘top transfer target’ for the summer, though that’s no longer the case following a boardroom decision.

The reporter tweeted the 24-year-old Nigeria international remains on the club’s shortlist, though is isn’t top of the pile due to the huge fee he’d cost.

Plettenberg claimed Napoli want at least €100m (approx. £88m) for their star centre-forward. The Man Utd board, in his words, ‘is not willing to pay that price and is therefore looking for cheaper solutions’.

If the Red Devils cannot afford Osimhen, it stands to reason they’ll also have to pass on Kane and Ramos too.

The Telegraph’s James Ducker recently offered an explanation as to why United’s budget is so tight.

He claimed the club still owe a hefty £307m in unpaid transfer fees. As such, he concluded the club will have to ‘sell well’ in order to free up funds for new arrivals in the summer.

With a truly top tier striker move seemingly ruled out, the club’s hunt for a new striker has been blown wide open.

READ MORE: Five transfers Manchester United need to make to become Premier League title challengers