Premier League

Man Utd could sign striker transfer target for free

Suraj Radia
Erik ten Hag, Manchester United, 2022/23

Manchester United have prioritised signing a striker this month and Erik ten Hag could secure one of their top targets on a free transfer, with the club looking for affordable options to add depth in attack.

United are lacking numbers in the forward area following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo to Saudi outfit Al-Nassr, with Anthony Martial still playing his way into fitness and Jadon Sancho absent from the first team indefinitely, leaving Marcus Rashford as their only fit senior striker.

As FootballTransfers exclusively revealed, the club are looking at ‘left-field’ options up front, with a host of experienced and short-term ‘value’ options being explored.

One of those players has been Vincent Aboubakar and United were considering a loan move for the Cameroonian but the club may be able to sign him on a free, with his current team Al-Nassr set to terminate his contract.

Al-Nassr have nine foreign players on their books after the signing of Ronaldo but Saudi rules limit them to eight, meaning at least one player will have to leave, and Aboubakar appears to have drawn the short straw.

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The club have yet to confirm the departure of Aboubakar but reports in Saudi Arabia have claimed he will have his contract terminated with 18 months left on it, in order to register Ronaldo to their squad.

Late twist in striker chase for United?

United had been in talks to sign Wout Weghorst on loan from Burnley and the Dutch striker appeared to bid farewell to his loan club Besiktas in his seemingly final appearance for them this weekend.

DUTCHMAN: United set to replace Ronaldo with Weghorst

Weghorst joined the Turkish side on loan in the summer but the 30-year-old is understood to be keen to move to United, with the Premier League outfit identifying him as a short-term striker option.

United are still to agree a deal with Burnley but reports have suggested a deal was close, however Ten Hag’s side may now focus their attention on Aboubakar due to his status as a free agent.

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Both Aboubakar and Weghorst netted twice for their respective countries at the 2022 World Cup but United were set to opt for the Dutchman, who scored twice in 20 Premier League games for Burnley last season.

United are believed to be looking at short-term options before making an attempt to sign a long-term solution to their striker issues at the end of the season, having spent more than £200 million on players last summer.

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