Man Utd and Chelsea rocked as mooted £60m transfer falls apart

Ben Stewart
Mauricio Pochettino and Erik ten Hag

Mauricio Pochettino speaks with Erik ten Hag before Champions League game

Man Utd and Chelsea have been dealt blows in their respective pursuits of a striker after they were told he is “not for sale” this summer.

Erik ten Hag is desperate for a new talisman next season. Marcus Rashford has delivered the goods under the Dutch boss, but Man Utd have been otherwise short of goals.

Wout Weghorst has struggled to find much form and Anthony Martial has missed the majority of the season through injury.

Napoli’s Victor Osimhen and Tottenham’s Harry Kane have each been linked with a move, but their signatures would prove to be very costly.

With both players likely to cost over £100million, Ten Hag has been considering some alternatives. Juventus forward Dusan Vlahovic for example has been mentioned.

Given the financial situation at the Italian club, recent reports claimed that he would be available for a cut-price of around £60million.

However, Juventus’ sporting director Francesco Calvo has insisted that the 23-year-old won’t be sold this summer.

“The rumours are uncontrollable, but the market hasn’t started yet,” Calvo told reporters on Monday night via GetFootballNewsItaly.

“Dusan is not for sale, we are satisfied with the commitment he puts in, then in life we ​​can always do better.”

It’s easy to see why a club like United would be interested in Vlahovic. The Serbian forward has scored 19 goals for club and county this season and has provided five assists.

He has also slightly overperformed his xG, highlighting how clinical he can be. However, with this latest revelation, Man Utd might be back to the drawing board.

Where do Man Utd go next?

There’s no doubt that Man Utd need a new talisman this summer. While they have made great strides forward under Ten Hag, they do lack a natural goalscorer.

In the Premier League, they have scored 52 goals, which is considerably less than the other sides currently in the top six.

In order to narrow the gap on the sides above them, a goalscorer needs to be secured as soon as possible.

Kane is the obvious option as he is proven in the Premier League. Even in a struggling Spurs side this season he has still scored 28 goals.

Along with his goalscoring prowess, Kane is also an excellent link-up man. Ten Hag values these traits highly and would surely be a popular player at Old Trafford.

The only stumbling block they will face is how much Tottenham would demand. Despite his contract expiring in 2024, Daniel Levy is still likely to drive a hard bargain.

Vlahovic could still be an option for Man Utd, but Calvo’s recent quotes will likely make the deal a harder one to pull off.

They haven’t been alone in their interest of the 23-year-old as Chelsea have also been reported as interested.

Both clubs are in desperate need of a striker for next season and it would be no surprise to see them tussling for the same targets over the next few months.

READ MORE: Sporting director drops major hint over Man Utd target as Ten Hag considers cut-price deal