Manchester United are likely to make a move for Bayern Munich striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting after a journalist revealed their ‘concrete’ interest in him, while there has also been an update on two alternative signings.
Man Utd were first linked with Choupo-Moting on November 2. That is around the time Erik ten Hag began looking for a new centre-forward to add to his ranks amid uncertainty over Cristiano Ronaldo’s future.
Reports claimed Man Utd had ‘strong interest’ in snapping the 33-year-old up. And these links only intensified once Ronaldo officially left Old Trafford on November 22.
Bayern soon found out about Man Utd’s plan to try and sign Choupo-Moting. And they opted to begin contract renewal talks with him and his agent to prevent a move from going ahead.
But earlier this week, it was revealed Man Utd are planning to hijack the contract discussions by launching a move for the attacker.
He would be a cheap solution to replace Ronaldo, too. As Choupo-Moting’s Bayern deal expires at the end of the season, Man Utd could sign him for a cut-price fee.
Even if he had a longer contract, Bayern would not be able to charge much for him. At 33, he is not exactly in the prime of his career.
German journalist Florian Plettenberg has provided an update on Man Utd’s hunt for Choupo-Moting. He claims Ten Hag’s interest in the Bundesliga man is ‘concrete’. And this could result in the Red Devils submitting a bid for Choupo-Moting in the coming weeks.
Man Utd have two more Bundesliga stars on shortlist
Man Utd do have a few alternatives, just in case Bayern hold strong and reject their approach for Choupo-Moting.
One is Marcus Thuram, a France international who currently plays for Bayern’s Bundesliga rivals Borussia Monchengladbach. Like Choupo-Moting, he is coming towards the end of his contract and could therefore be available for a reduced price.
Another option for Ten Hag is Thuram’s France team-mate Randal Kolo Muani. He plays for Eintracht Frankfurt and will cost as much as £61.9m if Man Utd want to capture him, as per Fabrizio Romano.
In a double boost for Ten Hag, Plettenberg has poured cold water on Bayern signing Thuram or Kolo Muani. He says both players are not on Bayern’s wish list as a thing stand.
This gives Man Utd a much better chance at completing a deal for either Frenchman.
While Choupo-Moting, Thuram and Kolo Muani are all good players, they do have their drawbacks. As mentioned earlier, Choupo-Moting is in the twilight years of his career. So Man Utd would not get many years out of him if he did go to Old Trafford.
Thuram and Kolo Muani are younger and have higher potential. But they are lacking Premier League experience, which means they will take time to get used to the English game.
Instead, Man Utd should prioritize a deal for Tottenham talisman Harry Kane. Paul Merson thinks they should spend big money to make Kane a top-class replacement for Ronaldo.
“In an age where clubs spend money for fun and world-class centre-forwards are a rarity, I would find it crazy if Manchester United did not break the bank for Harry Kane,” Merson wrote in his column for the Daily Star.
“You can look all around the world, rack your brains and round up every scout within your network and the answer is right there in front of you. There is nobody that comes close to Kane that is currently available.
“If United ever want to catch Manchester City, they’ve got to go and get Kane. Everybody wants a striker and is searching far and wide but the best centre-forward is staring everybody in the face.”
Merson added that because Spurs are unlikely to win major trophies any time soon, Kane will have his head turned. And this is when Man Utd need to swoop in.