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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Manchester United can sign bargain striker from Bayern to fill striker void

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Manchester United are keeping their options open as they look to add another forward to their squad this month. It is well documented that Erik ten Hag has made it his priority to strengthen up top following Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit, though it is just as well known that their options are limited. The January transfer window is when desperate clubs do their business, and naturally there are fewer options available, given that most suitable players are already contracted to teams who have no intention of weakening themselves mid-season. Read next: Guardiola contradicted himself to pay Ten Hag the ultimate compliment United are also at a disadvantage in that they don’t have a lot of money to spend. They invested a record sum under Ten Hag last year and are further along in their rebuild than they had initially budgeted for, meaning a bargain arrival might be the most likely option. It is something Ten Hag already considered during his first summer, when United had a bid for Marko Arnautovic rejected. The Austrian was never going to be the right fit for United, though given that he is the second-highest scorer in Serie A right now, it at least shows that the United manager did have some logic behind the move. It is ironic, then, that the man Stoke City signed to replace Arnautovic back in 2017 could well be an option for United this month as well. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting fits the brief as an experienced striker with an eye for goal who would likely be available this month for a bargain fee. Just as with Arnautovic, the immediate reaction is probably to roll the eyes at the suggestion of adding a Premier League has-been to a side battling for a top-four finish, but there would certainly be some merit in a move. The 33-year-old has 11 goals in just 16 appearances this season, which is even more impressive considering almost half of them have come when starting on the bench.To put that into context, Choupo-Moting has netted all of those goals while playing less club football than Jadon Sancho has this season. Ten Hag has already stated that he sees playing in the Bundesliga as a completely different prospect to playing in the Premier League, but Choupo-Moting has also proven his worth in the Champions League this season, scoring in starts against both Barcelona and Inter while Robert Lewandowski was injured. It makes a compelling argument to bring the Cameroonian to Old Trafford on a short-term deal, though that is where the problem might lie this month. Choupo-Moting is out of contract at the end of the season and is understood to want security in any offer that comes his way, with Bayern typically only offering one-year extensions to players over 30 in their squad. Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic recently expressed the club’s desire to keep the former Stoke striker, and it seems the only way United would be able to sign him would be by offering a longer deal than the German giants. It also means that United would struggle to sign the forward on loan unless they paid a substantial fee or agreed a permanent deal, such is their own need for a suitable backup option. “He gives us something as a nine,” Salihamidzic told Sky. “We’d love to keep him. I have a good relationship with his adviser. We’ll meet and see if we can please him. The way he’s playing, he’s a big win for us. He’s a great guy, and that’s why we got him. I’m happy that he’s here and I’m happy if he stays here.” Choupo-Moting, in comparison to Memphis Depay and Joao Felix, who have both been made available for transfer, may not be the most attainable option this month, and links with United may be bait to get what he wants at Bayern instead. However, as far as striker reinforcements midway through a season go, there are not many better options than the veteran forward this month. Having failed to sign one former Stoke striker last summer, Ten Hag’s subsequent success has made trying to sign another in January a lot more compelling. READ NEXT: Mourinho was right about Casemiro Two United players scanned at training ground ahead of Everton game Martinez gives United a possible sign of things to come Fans send messages to Van de Beek after horror injury The latest United news Story SavedYou can find this story in  My Bookmarks.Or by navigating to the user icon in the top right.

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