Solskjaer plans double striker coup as links to Wolves hitman grow

Date published: Saturday 8th February 2020 3:45

Raul Jimenez Wolves TEAMtalk

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will target deals to sign two new strikers this summer, according to reports.

United’s desperate search to land a new centre forward on deadline day finally paid dividends with minutes to spare  when it was announced a deal for Odion Ighalo had been reached.

Their somewhat scatter-gun approach has seen the likes of Edinson Cavani, Danny Ings, Islam Slimani, Dries Mertens, Salomon Rondon and – perhaps most bizarrely – Adolfo Gaich all mentioned as targets on a frantic final day.

However, with Ighalo only arriving on a six-month loan deal, United seemingly have no desire, at this stage, to make the move permanent.

And that, according to ESPN, will see United and Solskjaer target two new striker signings this summer.

The summer departures of Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez have left United light in the striking department and the club have only had Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and teenager Mason Greenwood to call upon, prior to the capture of Ighalo this season.

However, plans are afoot to further strengthen United’s attack in the long term and it’s suggested the club again explore the possibility of signing Edinson Cavani.

The prolific Uruguayan will depart Pars Saint-Germain as a free agent in the summer after being unseated in the club’s front three by loan signing Mauro Icardi.

And while Atletico Madrid look favourites to sign him, United are said to be willing to throw a huge salary at the 32-year-old in a bid to convince him to move to Manchester and despite this warning from his agent.

United are also looking at moving for RB Leipzig frontman Timo Werner, who has a €60m exit clause in his deal, while Lyon’s Moussa Dembele remains a target despite Chelsea’s apparent determination to bring him to Stamford Bridge.

However, one man who appears to be edging to the top of Solskjaer’s wish-list is prolific Wolves striker Raul Jimenez.

In Jimenez, United believe the Mexico international has the right attributes required to lead the line at Old Trafford.

 

The 28-year-old has scored 20 goals in 37 appearances so far this season and Solskjaer thinks the forward would offer something different to the likes of Martial, Rashford and Greenwood.

It was claimed last month that United had enlisted the help of super-agent Jorge Mendes to try and broker a summer deal for Jimenez, with a fee of £50million being mooted.

 

Bent believes Jimenez has plenty of admirers

And Darren Bent reckons Wolves will face a hard time of keeping Jimenez’s services next season, with the pundit telling Football Insider he’s heard there is already plenty of interest in the former Benfica striker.

“What a signing he has been,” Bent said. “He is a very good player who has had a great season.

“From what I’m hearing, there will be a lot of top clubs trying to sign him in the summer.

“He could do a job at Chelsea. I can see Manchester United or Chelsea coming in for him.

“Jimenez knows the Premier League, so that is the advantage so he would be a great signing for either.”

One forward who appears destined to be part of Solskjaer’s squad next season is Alexis Sanchez.

The former Arsenal star appeared to be done at Old Trafford when he was loaned to Inter in the summer.

However, speaking last month, Solskjaer has backed the player to return to Old Trafford and silence the critics.

“Of course, he’s got high standards himself that you demand from yourself.

“When it doesn’t work for you, as it clearly hasn’t and he’s had some injuries, then it’s difficult to suddenly click and put that confidence on.

“So [we’ve had] individual chats but, of course, it’s a fresh start for him with me and Mike [Phelan] coming in – it’s a new lease of life for him maybe. Hopefully we can see the best of him because he’s a top, top player.”

He added: “We’ve had the issue with his injury – that’s been the problem here now. So he’s not really had a chance to prove himself or show what he can do and it will still take time before we can fairly say that Alexis is 100 per cent fit and he’s had many games on the run. Then we expect to see the best level that he can perform to.”

Meanwhile, new signing Ighalo will not travel with his new teammates on their training camp trip to Spain over escalating fears that the coronavirus will prevent him being let back into the country.

 

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