Man Utd are plotting a major striker acquisition to succeed Edinson Cavani in 2022, and their four-man shortlist has been revealed.
After acquiring Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane, Man Utd’s squad has very few weaknesses left to speak of. Nevertheless, the No. 9 position will come into focus when Uruguayan veteran Cavani likely moves on next summer.
Cavani signed a one-year extension to remain at Old Trafford this season after exceeding expectations last year.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has plenty of options at his disposal regarding who could succeed Cavani at the spearhead of his attack.
Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial can both play centrally, while Mason Greenwood is perhaps the most exciting option.
However, according to ESPN, Man Utd will dip into the transfer market when the time comes in 2022. They report that Man Utd have their sights set on a ‘move for a big-name forward next summer’.
A four-strong list of elite-level attackers are described as being ‘on the table.’ Firstly, PSG superstar Mbappe is namechecked. The 22-year-old is in the final year of his contract in Paris. Predictably, Real Madrid have been mooted as his likeliest destination.
The article states that while Mbappe ‘has told senior team-mates he expects to stay this year,’ he is unlikely to remain beyond that.
At that point, Mbappe will be a free agent and the absence of a transfer fee is a ‘particularly attractive proposition’.
Man Utd are one of a select group of clubs that could absorb Mbappe’s lofty salary. Though it’s acknowledged Real Madrid would be Mbappe’s preferred choice if forced to choose between Spain and England.
Also on the list are Borussia Dortmund goal machine Erling Haaland, Tottenham captain Harry Kane and Inter’s Lautaro Martinez.
Haaland will be available for a maximum of £76.6m next year owing to his release clause. That figure was initially £63.9m. Though Dortmund successfully negotiated to increase the sum pending on-pitch achievements this season.
The race to sign Haaland next summer is expected to be hotly-contested. And should Robert Lewandowski have his wish to experience a new challenge granted, Bayern Munich would be in the mix.
Kane remains a target for Man City in what would surely break the new British transfer record set by Jack Grealish at £100m. His desire to make a major move is unlikely to diminish should a deal to Man City not materialise this summer.
Argentine Martinez rounds out the list. The 23-year-old Inter forward would perhaps be the easiest deal to pull off given Inter’s financial hardship. However, he would also be the least appealing and has rarely played as a solo striker.
Former United defender Mikael Silvestre, a player with huge recovery pace that would suit a team wanting to defend on the halfway line, believes “it wouldn’t be a problem for me to play now”, but also says that it’s harder for defenders to flourish nowadays.
“The game is not in their favour,” he says. “Some people would go as far as saying the art of defending is gone.”
Maybe Silvestre could be added to the list, with that amount of confidence.
Man Utd breakthrough can set wheels in motion
Meanwhile, Manchester United midfielder James Garner has now agreed a new contract after rejecting the club’s first offer, according to a report.
Earlier reports revealed that the Englishman had thrown his future into doubt by rejecting an offer.
However, Football Insider now reports that he has performed a U-turn after a new proposal came in.
The ‘breakthrough’ in talks has resulted in Garner agreeing to a new four-year contract running until 2025. The deal will replace his current terms, which were causing uncertainty at Old Trafford.
Now, though, Solskjaer can set his plan for Garner into motion. Nottingham Forest, Stoke and Sheffield United have all previously shown loan transfer interest.