Manchester United are in the market for a forward this summer to help Erik ten Hag succeed in his first season at the club. With Edinson Cavani departing on a free transfer and Anthony Martial expected to leave Old Trafford, Cristiano Ronaldo is the only striker left standing at the club.
United are interested in signing Darwin Nunez from Benfica in a deal that could cost as much as £68m. However with Frenkie de Jong and Jurrien Timber — who could cost a combined £115million or more — both on United’s radar, this doesn’t leave a lot left in the budget for other signings.
And with Ronaldo still at the club, does it make sense to spend big on a striker who won’t be first choice? MEN Sport look at three strikers who United could target to deputise for their Portuguese talisman this season for less than £40m:
While playing for Union Berlin this season, Awoniyi has scored 15 goals leading to the German club qualifying for the Europa League. What’s more impressive is this is from an xG of 14 according to FBref and this consistency could mean that if given more chances to shoot he would be able to score more goals.
But Awoniyi offers a lot more than just goals; he is a very well rounded forward and able to hold the ball up, occupy defenders in the box and also run in behind to constantly give the opposition problems. German outlet Bild has reported that the 24-year-old striker could be available for around £21m this summer, which is a fraction of what Nunez costs.
For a slightly more expensive £34m you could sign Scamacca from Sassuolo. In 36 games this season, Scamacca has 16 goals and his presence in the box is something that Ten Hag looks for in his strikers, although he can also influence the game deeper as well by being involved in the build-up.
Under Ten Hag, the striker will need to be able to create space for the likes of Bruno Fernandes, Jadon Sancho and Donny van de Beek to thrive in. Could Scamacca be the solution that allows for that to happen?
Brian Brobbey/Sebastian Haller
If all else fails, returning to Ajax for the forwards that Ten Hag thrived with this season may be a reasonable plan B (even if Brobbey was on loan for RB Leipzig, he has still not secured a permanent deal to Amsterdam yet this summer). Haller would reportedly be available for £35m and, according to Bild, Brobbey could cost only be £12.7m.
Having played under Ten Hag before, both strikers know what the manager expects and hopefully be able to slot in effectively into United’s front line. However, there would be some question marks over Haller given his problematic spell at West Ham.