Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd talks for next striker signing leaked as Ten Hag hatches cunning plan to deprive Prem side

Man Utd manager Erik ten Hag grinning

Manchester United want to make Ivan Toney their next striker signing after Rasmus Hojlund and will aim to pick up the banned Brentford star in January, a report has claimed.

Toney is not allowed to play until January after being banned by the FA for alleged betting offences. Once he returns to action, Brentford will be hoping to benefit from his talents again after he scored 20 Premier League goals for them last season.

However, he has attracted interest from bigger clubs as he aims to maximise the prime years of his career. And despite his inaction for the first half of the season, it appears suitors are still queuing up for the 27-year-old.

According to a report from Football Transfers, Man Utd are planning to bid for Toney in January. In fact, it is claimed they even held talks with the striker earlier in the summer, before their pre-season tour began.

That may cause some confusion as to why Toney namechecked their rivals Liverpool as a club he would be keen on joining in an interview this week.

But the report insists Toney is a target for Man Utd in January, which would allow Hojlund to enjoy a settling-in period until then.

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Man Utd signed the Denmark international from Atalanta earlier this summer as a long-term option to lead their line. However, he is far from the finished product just yet, so may benefit from developing alongside a more senior striker.

There have been difficulties for Man Utd in finding a centre-forward of suitable pedigree for the right price this summer, though, while it has also been a struggle for them to clear the necessary space in their squad.

Man Utd play long game for Toney

Now, their plan might be to wait until January and hope they can secure a good bit of business for Toney. Until then, Hojlund will have to rotate with Marcus Rashford – United’s top scorer last season – up front.

And when the time comes for them to make a move for Toney, there is a chance they might not be his only suitors. But they could be ones to throw their hat in the ring.

Toney’s record for Brentford since they signed him from Peterborough United in 2020 has included 68 goals from 124 appearances.

In his aforementioned interview, the former Newcastle man said he would be “silly” to turn down a move to a more competitive club if an offer arrived, although he has classed his spell with Brentford as one of the best of his career.

The numbers would not dispute that and his form even led to his England debut earlier this year. Toney will be permitted to resume training with Brentford next month, but his return to the pitch will be delayed for obvious reasons.

By the time the January transfer window comes around, Brentford will only have Toney under contract for another 18 months – unless they manage to extend his deal. Perhaps an offer from a suitor such as Man Utd could give them something to think about.

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