With uncertainty around how long Odion Ighalo will remain a Manchester United player, The Reds will no doubt be drawing up a shortlist of potential replacements if and when the Nigerian striker’s stay at the club ends. The United Devils reported earlier in the week per the Mail Online that United were willing to pay in the region of £20 million to secure the services of Ighalo on a permanent basis. This would represent a useful piece of business for a club who according to Reuters on Wednesday have withdrawn £140 million from a revolving credit facility to fund upcoming transfers. However according to The Times the Nigerian has reportedly been offered an eye watering £75 million contract by his parent club Shanghai Shenua to return to them and continue his career in China.
Whether Ighalo stays at United or returns to Shanghai this summer, as well as becoming a cult figure at United the Nigerian has highlighted United’s need for a striker in the coming weeks or months. His arrival in January allowed manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to rotate his front three and the player who benefited the most from this before the enforced break was Anthony Martial. The Frenchman had scored 3 goals in 4 Premier League games having only scored 1 in 5 prior to Ighalo’s arrival. Martial no longer looked burdened by having to lead United’s attack and Ole was able to continue to steadily integrate Mason Greenwood in to the first team.
Should Odion Ighalo leave United in the coming days, the blow will be softened by the return to fitness of Marcus Rashford but if United are wanting to push for the top four next season let alone win the title they will surely need to bolster their striking options. It’s fair to say a striker may not be the clubs priority though with them looking to spend big to improve their options in midfield and in the wide areas, which has led the The Reds being linked with the likes of Jack Grealish and Jadon Sancho respectively.
All things considered there are three striking options the club may look to pursue this summer in order to bolster their forward options:
The German striker has looked certain to join United’s rivals Liverpool all season but stories of a possible to United persist. Werner has a release clause in the region of £50 million, however it is reported this clause expires on the 15th of June so any interested party will have move fast. Timo has been in scintillating form this season, including 4 goals in the 3 games since the restart of the Bundesliga. United will also be aware of his capability to play effectively across the front three positions.
This was a move that nearly happened back in January but instead United opted to sign Odion Ighalo. King who is a United product left the club in 2013 and since joining Bournemouth in 2015 he has played like a man with a point to prove and someone who has some unfinished business with his boyhood club. No doubt some fans will have reservations about re-signing King as he may not be the superstar name they are looking for. However a reported value of between 10-15 million pounds may prove to be shrewd business for a player in his prime, a proven goal scorer at Premier League level and someone who knows the club well.
Jimenez, who is reportedly valued at £57 million by his current club Wolverhampton Wanderers is a Premier League proven player and would offer a different dimension to the likes of Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford. He’s someone who could slot in and become that rotational option, while possessing the capabilities and talents to take over as the main striker if needs be. There are reports that the Mexican hitman is wanted abroad however and it may just be that Wolves would prefer to sell him to a team overseas than to a Premier League rival.