Manchester United have always been a club associated with the very best strikers in world football, whether that be Wayne Rooney, Eric Cantona or Ruud van Nistelrooy. However, the departure of Romelu Lukaku last summer has left a spot open that United need to fill over the coming transfer window if they are to truly compete at the upper regions of the Premier League.
Odion Ighalo has proved to be a useful deputy, and while many United fans may hope that the Nigerian will be at Old Trafford again next summer, the Red Devils will need somebody with superior quality to take them to the next level.
Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford have been clinical in front of goal this season, with 16 and 19 goals respectively in all competitions, while Mason Greenwood has enjoyed an excellent first full-season with 12 goals.
However, United still need additional firepower in the final third in the form of a prolific number nine that will be able to score at least 20 goals every season. But, who could the Red Devils target this summer to fill that void?
The media certainly think that Harry Kane is weighing up his options this summer, as Tottenham Hotspur haven’t been able to improve on their incredible run to the Champions League final last year. United are one of the very few clubs in world football that would be able to afford the England captain, and there’s no doubting his credentials in front of goal.
The Red Devils will likely have to pay a fee in the region of £100 million to even open discussion with Spurs, but the signing could be worth it if United can pull it off.
Kane’s record over the past six years in the Premier League is phenomenal, as he has scored at least 20 goals in four of these six seasons. Injuries over the past two seasons has meant that he has only scored 28 goals, but should United manage to field a fully fit Kane throughout a season, there is no doubting that the club would be nearer to the summit of the Premier League.
Erling Braut Haaland
United worked hard to persuade Erling Braut Haaland to sign for them in the January transfer window, but the Norwegian eventually decided to sign for Borussia Dortmund instead. The Red Devils could revive their interest in the tall striker over the summer, but the deal could also likely be in the region of £100 million. Still, what United will be getting for that price is a potential unlike anything else in world football.
Haaland fits the bill of the type of player that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to bring to the Theatre of Dreams, as he is young and hungry for success. Besides, they share their Norwegian nationality.
His goalscoring record is also something that his compatriot would be proud of. The 2019-20 season has been a coming of age year for Haaland, as he scored 16 goals in 14 games for Red Bull Salzburg, before continuing that fine scoring run with nine goals in eight games for Dortmund.
He has a blistering pace that could compete with a horse in the Kentucky Derby odds and a lethal finishing, hungry for goals like a lion. United have the financial means to pull it off, but persuading Dortmund to sell may be difficult.
United may be more tempted with a signing that they know will hit the ground running, and there have been very few strikers that have been as consistent in the Premier League over the past two years than Raul Jimenez. The Wolves hit-man has been one of the stars for the Black Country club and is already attracting interest from around Europe, which means United will have to move quickly for the Mexican.
He will be a cheaper option than both Haaland and Kane, which means United may have additional money to buy other players, while his goalscoring record and what he would offer United that is different to what they already have is also something that would add a fresh dynamic. The Mexican is a menace in the final third, as he is able to shrug defenders off and link-up the play with his teammates. Since arriving in England, he has scored 39 goals in 88 games, but there will still be a question regarding whether Wolves will over-value the 29-year-old.