Erik ten Hag might save Manchester United as much as £100million in the summer transfer window after a move for a free-agent striker with 16 goals this season came into view.
There has been plenty of talk about which centre-forward might arrive at Old Trafford to revamp Ten Hag’s attack this summer. With Anthony Martial and Wout Weghorst in line to depart, the manager needs a lethal new striker to provide him with goals alongside Marcus Rashford.
Unfortunately for Man Utd, most top-level strikers do not come cheap. They are interested in England star Harry Kane, although Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is renowned for his tough negotiating tactics and will therefore demand in excess of £100m.
Man Utd have also been hugely impressed by Victor Osimhen’s devastating campaign with Napoli. But Napoli owner Aurelio de Laurentiis is similar to Levy in that he will only sell his prized striker if a massive offer arrives. Osimhen’s price tag sits at around £130m.
Man Utd have big money at their disposal and will want to back Ten Hag with some great signings so he can continue his project with them. But it remains to be seen if Man Utd can afford to spend over £100m to improve their strike force, while also recruiting players for other parts of the squad.
Instead, Ten Hag may go down a far cheaper route by snaring French forward Marcus Thuram. He has run down his contract with Borussia Monchengladbach and is now preparing to leave them on a free transfer this summer.
Thuram would be far easier to sign than Kane or Osimhen as Man Utd would not need to organise a transfer fee with Gladbach. Instead, they would simply have to get in touch with his agent and sort out a contract.
And that is exactly what the Red Devils are planning to do. As per German outlet Bild, Man Utd are among the ‘top European clubs’ who are ready to pounce for Thuram.
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The 25-year-old, admittedly, is not quite at the world-class level of Kane or Osimhen. Nevertheless, he is still a good striker, having found the back of the net 16 times in 30 matches this term. Thuram has Champions League and Europa League experience with Gladbach too, while he also featured in five games for France at the Qatar World Cup.
Thuram would certainly be an upgrade on Ten Hag’s current striker options.
In a boost for Man Utd, the Italy-born ace has just said goodbye to his current team. “For me personally, the past four years have been fantastic,” he declared. “I came here as a young player and I’ve developed tremendously. It was outstanding to compete in the Champions League with Borussia and to play our way into the national team through good performances.
“I owe this club a lot and I will never forget what they have done for me. Borussia will always have a special place in my heart.”
However, it is not all positive news for Man Utd. Bild reveal that Ten Hag will have to fend off AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain in order to sign Thuram, as the two European giants are also interested.
Man Utd could blow Milan away by offering Thuram a far superior contract in terms of wages. But PSG will be much harder to brush aside.
Perhaps Man Utd could tell the attacker that he will play far more by joining them. PSG already have Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Hugo Ekitike available in attack, while Lionel Messi is set to leave. So if Thuram went to the French capital, then he would be risking sitting on the bench.