Manchester United have a “deal in principle in place” with Burnley to sign striker Wout Weghorst.
The Dutchman is currently on loan at Turkish side Besiktas and United are still waiting for the termination of that contract to be agreed between Burnley and Besiktas before any deal can be finalized for a switch to Old Trafford.
United are aware of the complexities of the deal as it requires the alignment of three clubs and are keeping all other options open if the transfer does not come to fruition.
Previously, Besiktas sporting director Ceyhun Kazanci has said any deal will only happen if the club is compensated, otherwise, Weghorst will see out his season-long loan.
In a statement, Besiktas said: “The claim that there is an exit clause in our player’s contract, stating that his contract can be terminated with a compensation of 2.5m euros (£2.2m) in case of an offer from the Premier League, is fictitious.
“The news that the player in question will leave the team on Tuesday is completely untrue. The initiative regarding Wout Weghorst belongs entirely to Besiktas.”
It is no secret United want to sign a No 9 and Weghorst would represent an option they have not got in the squad – a physical presence as well as a strong scoring record at club and international level.
The 6ft 6in striker has nine goals in 18 games for Besiktas this season and scored what proved to be the winner in Saturday’s 2-1 Super Lig victory over Kasimpasa. After he scored, Weghorst appeared to wave an emotional goodbye to the club’s fans.
“Weghorst is an important player for us. It is not enough to say goodbye to the audience. He also needs to talk to the club,” Besiktas head coach Senol Gunes said post-match.
“I have heard of such a development, but it is not clear. I’ll consider [him] leaving after I talk to both him and the club.”
United were in the market for a player of Weghorst’s profile in the summer and were interested in Sasa Kalajdzic and Benjamin Sesko.
A loan move is thought to be United’s focus before revisiting the position in the summer when there will be more options available.
United must register Weghorst by 12pm on Friday for him to be available for the Manchester derby on Saturday.
United are desperate to sign a striker on loan during the January window after severing ties with Cristiano Ronaldo during the World Cup following the player’s explosive interview with Piers Morgan in which he criticized the club and manager Erik ten Hag.
The striker scored twice for the Netherlands in the World Cup quarter-finals against eventual winners Argentina, with the second arguably being one of the most dramatic goals in the competition’s history – leveling the scores from an inventive free-kick pass to send the game into extra time.
The former Wolfsburg star has hit the ground running in Turkey, netting eight goals and registering four assists in 16 league games.
Those figures are a stark contrast to his returns in the Premier League with Burnley last term, when he netted only two goals in 20 games – but his broader play during that period provides clues to Ten Hag’s current interest in the player.
The graphic below shows every shot and chance created by Weghorst at Burnley last term and reveals he fired shots on target only nine times from 25 attempts across his 20 appearances – equating to an eight-per-cent conversion rate or 728 minutes per goal.
Ten Hag: Martial cannot manage load – we need another striker
Speaking on Friday, Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag said he needs to bring in attacking cover for Marcus Rashford with Anthony Martial struggling to manage the load.
Martial had a disrupted pre-season, and has been unable to complete 90 minutes this term as a result of an injury-interrupted campaign.
“There is a reason [Martial has been substituted in his last seven games]. It is because he cannot handle the load,” Ten Hag said. “This is why we are looking for another striker.
“It is not about us not relying on him. His physical load is not, at this moment, so high that he can play, every third day, a game of 90 minutes. So I have to manage that together with him.
“We are on a thin line at the moment because the qualities of Anthony Martial are so important right now to our game. His movements, his ball security, the pressing, let’s not forget that. We need that profile to be a threat.
“Also, Marcus Rashford benefits from that. So I am not concerned that only Marcus is scoring goals, because I am convinced the other players [can score too].
“Not only Anthony Martial, but Antony scored [in the 3-1 FA Cup win against Everton]. Bruno Fernandes is also very capable of scoring, Christian Eriksen will create and is also capable of scoring goals. So we have more players who can score goals.”
Who will be on the move this winter? The January transfer window opened on Sunday January 1, 2023 and closes at 11pm hon Tuesday January 31, 2023.
Keep up-to-date with all the latest transfer news and rumors in our dedicated Transfer Center blog hon Sky Sports’ digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.