Man Utd striker chase exclusive: £74m Serie A attacker in the mix for Old Trafford switch but Ten Hag has three other names on his radar
Trusted reported Ben Jacobs has given TEAMtalk an update on Manchester United’s search for a new striker and the quartet of players who are all on Erik ten Hag’s radar.
It’s common knowledge that the Dutchman wants a new No.9 through the Old Trafford door this summer, having lost Cristiano Ronaldo in January, while reports continue to suggest that Wout Weghorst’s loan will not be made permanent and the injury-prone Anthony Martial cannot get on the pitch.
Explosive Napoli frontman Victor Osimhen remains United’s top target. However, Jacobs has revealed who else is also in the mix, including an AC Milan star who has been on Chelsea’s radar for some time.
Jacobs told us: “I think the first thing to say is that Manchester United are looking at a variety of different strikers.
“They want a traditional kind of number nine, and the options are growing by the day because they know that some of the targets will have multiple suitors and other players are not exactly the right fit if that remit is a traditional striker, or number nine.
“So AC Milan’s Rafael Leao has been looked at, more by Chelsea, and even Manchester City have scouted him as well. And although he may creep into the conversation for Manchester United as well, the key point in all of this is Milan have always said they’ve had the situation in their control.
“They’ve tried for a number of months to offer Rafael Leao improved terms, and they remain hopeful that that extension is not dead. So it’s not an unthinkable scenario, whereby Rafael Leao actually extends at Milan.
“And that’s why the next month or two is very key, because as soon as the window opens Milan are on the backfoot. But in the months before the window opens, they can shut out a lot of the speculation if they can get him to sign improved terms.
“Confidence has wavered at different levels over the course of the last few months from a likelihood he won’t sign all the way through to a possibility now that Leao might.
“Chelsea thought that they came quite close to striking a verbal agreement, but were unable to agree a fee. And Milan have always held out relatively highly, wanting at least 85 million euros (£74.6m) and some say even more.”
Osimhen remains top target for Ten Hag
Despite the possibility of United switching their focus to Leao, it’s Naples where Ten Hag’s focus remains.
The Red Devils boss is a huge fan of the Nigerian, who has scored 23 goals in 28 games for a Napoli side flying this season.
And Jacobs admits that United’s interest in the player is genuine, while the player himself has also commented on the talk. However, two other names are also in the mix to move to Manchester.
Jacobs added: “Manchester United, first and foremost, are still seriously looking at Victor Osimhen, and it’ll be intriguing to see whether knowing that his dream is the Premier League, Napoli can hang on to him.
“Chelsea will also be in the race for Osimhen as well as Dusan Vlahovic, which is another possibility for Manchester United.
“There’s a real opportunity to sign him [Vlahovic] from Juventus as well over the course of the summer because the player has an appetite now to leave and try the Premier League. And of course, before he moved to Juventus from Fiorentina there were strong links and concrete attempts by Arsenal to try and sign Vlahovic.
“So the Premier League has always been an option and Manchester United and Chelsea will be in that conversation as well.
“And then there’s Muhammad Kudus as well, the Ghanaian that was excellent at the World Cup and who Erik ten Hag knows very well from his time at Ajax.
“But Leao is a player that they’ve looked at, but there’s nothing much more to it than that at this stage and it’s a very long shortlist of strikers for Manchester United.
“The key thing for Manchester United and other suitors to understand about Leao is whether he signs a new deal because that in all likelihood takes him out of the equation for a summer move. But also what the price is, and that’s the big thing in all of this that Milan have always been really really strong and firm and high in their valuation.
“That’s what’s put off suitors and if they’d have dropped on price to ultimately cash in then Leao probably would have already been at Chelsea and playing in the Premier League.”
United are back in action on Sunday when they host Fulham in the FA Cup quarter-finals.
READ MORE: Scholes reveals ‘Ten Hag type’ striker who could be more likely arrival than Kane or Osimhen
The article Man Utd striker chase exclusive: £74m Serie A attacker in the mix for Old Trafford switch but Ten Hag has three other names on his radar appeared first on Teamtalk.com.