Three forwards Manchester United could target in the summer

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Man United’s attacking options

With Marcus Rashford on the sidelines, Manchester United’s need for some more strength up top has become quite apparent.

Anthony Martial has been the man tasked with playing in the centre-forward role for the majority of the season, and he has also been awarded the number nine shirt.

However, the Frenchman simply hasn’t been good enough through the middle this season.

Martial often misses key chances you would expect a centre-forward to bury, and he also has a tendency to drift out wide.

The Red Devils appeared to be in the market for a striker during the winter window, with experienced PSG hitman Edinson Cavani linked with the Manchester powerhouse.

But Cavani would remain at PSG in January, and United instead opted to bring in former Watford striker Odion Ighalo on loan until the end of the current campaign.

The 30-year-old could prove to be a useful addition for United, but it is also worth noting that, in his final 18 Premier League outings for the Hornets, the Nigerian scored just once.

And, as already mentioned, Ighalo is only on loan at United until the end of this season.

Lautaro Martinez & Man United

So, when the summer window opens, you would assume that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be keen to add another centre-forward to his ranks.

ESPN would report earlier this week that OGS does indeed want to add at least one striker to his squad during the summer.

The report also claimed that Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez was emerging as a top target for United.

However, the same article then claimed that Man United have been told that Barcelona are favourites to land Martinez at the end of the season.

The Times then reported that United had opted against a move for the Argentine after being told that they would have to trigger his release clause, which is believed to be around £94m.

The 22-year-old has netted 16 and assisted four in 27 outings this season, and would likely have been a solid signing for United. But given the previously linked reports from ESPN and The Times, United signing Martinez does seem rather unlikely.

So, here are three other forwards Manchester United could target this summer.

STADIO GIUSEPPE MEAZZA, MILAN, ITALY – 2020/01/29: Lautaro Martinez of FC Internazionale looks on during the Coppa Italia football match between FC Internazionale and ACF Fiorentina. FC Internazionale won 2-1 over ACF Fiorentina. (Photo by Nicolò Campo/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Moussa Dembele

The first name is Lyon’s promising young striker Moussa Dembele.

The former Celtic standout has been in fine form this term, netting 18 and assisting six in 34 appearances across all competitions for the Ligue 1 side.

Dembele is fairly quick, and would likely suit United’s counter-attacking style of play.

It was reported in December that Chelsea were considering a move for the France-under 21 international, but Lyon’s president was quite firm about not letting Dembele depart in the winter window.

However, the Mirror recently claimed that Dembele could be allowed to leave Lyon in the summer.

They also stated that Lyon value Dembele in excess of £60m, which is cheaper than the reported fee Inter want for Martinez.

LYON, FRANCE – FEBRUARY 19: Moussa Dembele of Olympique Lyon looks on during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 First Leg match between Olympique Lyonnais and FC Barcelona at Groupama Stadium on February 19, 2019 in Lyon, France. (Photo by TF-Images/TF-Images via Getty Images)

Teemu Pukki

The next forward United could attempt to sign is Teemu Pukki.

Granted, Pukki is lacking in pace somewhat, and doesn’t really look to fit with what Solskjaer appears to want from his attack.

But the fact is that Teemu Pukki is a goalscorer, and he is already proven in the Premier League.

Despite playing for relegation-battling Norwich City, Pukki has found the back of the net 11 times in 24 league outings this term, whilst also providing three assists.

Also, you would think, especially if Norwich get relegated this campaign, Pukki would be available for fairly cheap.

The Canaries are currently sat dead bottom of the English top-flight with a dismal 18 points amassed from 25 games.

This means that Pukki should really be on the market this summer, as he has more than proved he should be plying his trade in the Premier League.

NORWICH, ENGLAND – AUGUST 24: Teemu Pukki of Norwich City scores his team’s second goal during the Premier League match between Norwich City and Chelsea FC at Carrow Road on August 24, 2019 in Norwich, United Kingdom. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Alassane Plea

The final player Man United could bring in this summer is Alassane Plea.

The Frenchman has been honing his craft in the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach since the summer of 2018.

And in 18 league outings this season, Plea has found the back of the net eight times, whilst providing five assists.

Plea would also be a useful signing for United due to his versatility.

The 26-year-old is naturally a centre-forward, but he is more than capable of playing on the left and right-wings, doing so on numerous occasions this campaign.

However, United may struggle to convince Plea to join them in the summer if they don’t finish 4th.

Borussia Monchengladbach are currently 4th in the German top-flight, four points clear of 5th place, meaning there is a good chance that they will be competing in the Champions League next term.

United, on the other hand, are currently six points adrift of a Champions League spot.

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