Harry Kane, Christian Benteke, Edinson Cavani? Man Utd's potential attacking targets
By Chris Spicer
Last Updated: 07/07/15 8:27am
We explore the potential options available to manager Louis van Gaal as Manchester United look set to be in the hunt for a new striker.
With Radamel Falcao now at Chelsea, Robin van Persie looking set to join Fenerbahce following a run of bets at short odds, and injured Javier Hernandez also tipped for a move away from Old Trafford, Van Gaal appears short on forward options for the forthcoming campaign.
Were he not to snare another striker, the Dutchman could begin the season with only captain Wayne Rooney and unproven teenager James Wilson in his ranks.
Here’s a list of the five frontmen most likely to join United this summer, according to Sky Bet’s transfer odds.
Kane may have failed to net during England’s doomed European U21 Championship campaign but he still struck an impressive 21 Premier League goals for Tottenham last season. United have a good track record of landing Spurs' star players, with Michael Carrick and Dimitrar Berbatov moving north in previous years, while they were also keen on Gareth Bale before the Welshman opted to join Real Madrid.
However, Sky Bet currently offer odds of 1/8 for the Tottenham striker to stay in London this transfer window, while Sky sources understand that Manchester United have not made an official approach.
Sky Bet’s odds of 2/1 suggest the Argentina striker is the most likely replacement should Van Persie indeed leave for Turkey. The-27 year-old is no stranger to big clubs or success; a fan favourite and reliable goalscorer at Real Madrid, he then moved to Napoli for £28m in 2013.
His honours list includes a hat-trick of La Liga titles, cup wins in Spain and Italy and runners-up medals from the World Cup as well as, most recently, the Copa America. He also boasts an abundance of Champions League experience.
The powerful striker managed to transform his season after Tim Sherwood was appointed at Aston Villa, but would Van Gaal be able to coax similar success out of the Belgian? Averaging a goal every two games at a relegation-threatened club is impressive and at only 24, the future looks bright for Benteke. Liverpool, however, are as short as 4/9 to secure his signature, whilst he is 5/2 to remain at Aston Villa this window.
Villa boss Sherwood, speaking to Sky Sports News HQ, declared himself willing to bet on Benteke staying put, adding: "We want to keep our best players and Christian is one of those."
As a young striker with proven pedigree in the Premier League, United will surely have to pay a premium to secure the West Brom striker's services. Tottenham are currently favourites in betting on his next club at 3/1, while United, Newcastle (12/1) and Liverpool (18/1) are considered potential suitors. His record for the Baggies, along with 10 goals in 11 games for England U21s, suggests he is ready to step up, but his next destination still appears unclear with a stay at the Hawthorns beyond the current transfer window just 1/2.
The Uruguayan striker’s second season at PSG was an improvement on his first and there is no doubting his ability as a goalscorer; he has struck 20-plus in each of his last five campaigns. With Zlatan Ibrahimovic the main man in Paris and Cavani frequently deployed out wide by Laurent Blanc, could the man with 31 goals to his name in all competitions last year - including five in the Champions League - be the perfect fit.
"I don't know whether I will stay at PSG," he told GQ last month. "I might stay, I might leave... You never know what will happen in football.
"When I arrived at PSG, I was forced to play on the wing. People don't understand how much that has influenced my performances. I would score a lot more if I was played as a striker."