Manchester United’s striking options could be boosted for free next summer, with major players available at the end of the season.
United’s need to bolster their attacking ranks is clear; with Cristiano Ronaldo likely to leave Old Trafford for the second time, Ten Hag will be short on numbers at the top end of the pitch.
As reported in the Manchester Evening News, good options are available in terms of quality and economic sense.
Ronaldo is currently the only recognised striker at the club, but his lack of fitness and form has meant Marcus Rashford has been filling the role, with Anthony Martial, Ten Hag’s preferred option, out injured.
Rashford isn’t the most natural number nine, and Martial’s inability to stay off the treatment table means the centre forward position will be prioritised next summer.
Lyon’s Moussa Dembele is someone United have had a long-standing interest in, and his contract runs out at the end of the season.
Dembele is a natural centre forward and would bring a decent pedigree to the role, having impressed at Lyon since his move from Celtic in 2018.
The Frenchman had played in the Premier League before with Fulham, where he scored 15 goals in the league for the London club. So far, Dembele has started this season in decent form, grabbing a couple of goals in Ligue 1.
Another option comes in the shape of an old flame and Memphis Depay.
Depay will almost certainly leave Barcelona in the summer, who now have an embarrassment of riches at the Camp Nou. Depay hasn’t disgraced himself in Spain, serving the club well in a tricky season, last time out,
The Dutchman will feel as though he has unfinished business at United, having been moved on quicker than he would have liked in his first stint.
The Dutchman would return a more experienced player and person, equally important when dealing with Old Trafford and all that comes with it.
A final option would be Dortmund’s young German star, Youssoufa Moukoko.
At just 17 years old, there appears to be no ceiling to Moukoko’s potential; quick, strong, and with an eye for goal, Moukoko is tipped to be the next big thing to come out of Germany.
The potential is there to provide United with an answer to their striking problem for the next decade and beyond.
Having burst their budget with some rushed business at the back end of this year’s transfer window, these alternatives represent serious options for the United board.
The hierarchy at the club can take particular confidence in the free transfer market, with Christian Eriksen proving to be one of the coups of the summer, having signed on a free from Brentford.