Manchester United considered a last-minute attempt to sign Glenn Murray from Brighton as an alternative to Odion Ighalo, according to a report.
The Red Devils brought in former Watford striker Ighalo on Deadline Day as cover for the injured Marcus Rashford, on loan without a formal option to buy.
Despite their obvious need for a striker, the move has raised eyebrows across the football world, with club legend Gary Neville dismissing the signing as an example of poor planning from the Old Trafford hierarchy.
The pundit said on Sky Sports: “I can’t let the club off the hook though, unfortunately. Romelu Lukaku told us a couple of weeks ago that he had said he was going to leave last February or March.
“That’s nine months to be able to manoeuvre and get into a position to sign a striker for the club for the long-term. And yet they have ended up desperately doing one on Deadline Day.
“The boy may do very well. He might come in and settle in, he might score goals and do a job for the club.
“But the fact that the club were in that position, knowing that Sanchez and Lukaku were leaving for many, many months, tells us that Manchester United, at this moment in time, are struggling to navigate through the transfer market smartly.”
Now, a fresh report says that United were considering another name that would have prompted a similar level of surprise, with The Daily Mail claiming that a move for Brighton’s Murray was being considered.
The 36-year-old has been an important figure in Brighton’s rise to the Premier League and consolidation thereafter, but has only scored one Premier League goal this season as he has had to play second fiddle to Neal Maupay.
United were said to be interested because of the uncertainty over his contract situation, with Murray set to be out of contract in the summer.
However, he has since penned a one-year extension, to disappoint other interested parties such as Newcastle United, Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest and Celtic.
Murray may also have been tempted due to the fact he supports the Red Devils, but the club opted for Ighalo instead.
Ighalo, six years Murray’s junior, scored 16 Premier League goals in 55 appearances in his previous spell with Watford.
After finally arriving back in England on Sunday, Ighalo revealed his excitement at seeing his dream of playing for United come true.
“It’s been crazy you know,” Ighalo told Sky Sports News.
“I’m happy to be in Manchester first and this is a great opportunity for me.
“I’m grateful to God and to my agent and to the coach who’s given me the opportunity to be here, to walk out with the team and finish very well this season.
“It’s a dream come true because since I was a kid, I’ve always dreamed about Man United. But this is reality now, so I can’t say much until I get started.”