Man Utd transfer battle intensifies as Liverpool send top scout to watch attacker and eye Luis Diaz repeat

Jurgen Klopp and Erik ten Hag, Liverpool and Man Utd Credit: Alamy
Jurgen Klopp and Erik ten Hag, Liverpool and Man Utd Credit: Alamy

The tussle between Manchester United and Liverpool for a striker is reportedly hotting up, with Jurgen Klopp’s team sending a scout to watch him in action.

Manchester United can utilise Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial up front. Ronaldo is hoping to leave Old Trafford in January though, while Martial is out injured.

Erik ten Hag could allow Martial to depart Manchester United alongside Ronaldo, which would leave him needing a new striker to compete with Rashford.

And the Red Devils seem to have several players in mind to bolster their forward options. One is Cody Gakpo, who was in action against Arsenal on Thursday night and registered an assist during a 2-0 PSV win.

According to Fabrizio Romano, Gakpo’s situation has ‘completely changed’ in recent days. And he would love to complete a transfer to Man Utd.

This puts them in the driving seat to carry out the signing. But with Real Madrid also lurking, there is the slight possibility Man Utd will miss out on Gakpo.

They need to have backup strikers on their shortlist just in case this happens. One such goalscorer is Chicago Fire star Jhon Duran.

He became a target for Liverpool on October 2, but Man Utd have joined the pursuit in recent days. And the hunt for Duran’s signature appears to be getting heated.

Liverpool scout Man Utd target, with bids getting closer

Sport Witness provide an update on the situation, while citing Jeunes Footeux and journalist Pipe Sierra.

They claim Liverpool have taken the next step in trying to sign Duran by sending one of their chief scouts to watch him play for Chicago Fire.

The report doesn’t reveal which Liverpool official it was. But apparently it was the same person who scouted Luis Diaz before the winger’s switch to Anfield in January.

Diaz and Duran could strike up a great relationship at Liverpool as they are both full Colombia internationals. At 18 years of age, Duran is towards the start of his career and has only won two senior caps for Colombia. Diaz, meanwhile, is older and has featured 37 times for the national team.

While Liverpool would love to unite the South American pair, Man Utd will put up a serious fight. They are ‘attentively following’ Duran’s situation and may launch a bid for him next year.

Jhon Duran available for less than £10m

Duran’s signature will not cost Liverpool or Man Utd too much money. As he plays in MLS and doesn’t have any European experience, Chicago Fire will only request €11million (£9.5m) for the teenager. This is a fee well within Liverpool and Man Utd’s reach.

It is now up to Man Utd to make the next move. Should they settle on Duran as their next striker, then a bidding war with Liverpool may begin.

As good as Duran’s potential is, Man Utd and Liverpool supporters will demand a more senior striker arrives at their respective clubs.

They will not want to put their trust in a youngster who is yet to play outside of his native Colombia or MLS. Therefore, perhaps it would be a good idea for Duran to join a smaller European team before making a switch to one of the continent’s most illustrious clubs.

Meanwhile, Friday’s Euro Paper Talk claims Man Utd have settled on their next transfer at the behest of Ten Hag.

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