As things stand, top-four chasing Manchester United are not short of options up front.
Marcus Rashford looked all set to miss the 2019-20 season after sustaining a back fracture in January, but with the coronavirus pandemic delaying the football season by more than three months, Rashford is back playing, if not firing – he is yet to score in United’s three games back.
Anthony Martial, meanwhile, scored a hat-trick against Sheffield United in the Premier League last week, while Odion Ighalo – whose loan move has been extended until the end of January 2021 – kept up his record of scoring in every game he’s started, at the weekend against Norwich.
Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial are Man Utd’s top scorers this season with 19 each
Odion Ighalo, a January arrival on loan, has scored in every United game he has started
So, does Ole Gunnar Solskjaer need reinforcements, and is Ed Woodward looking for further options in attack?
Executive vice-chairman Woodward said as recently as April that United’s transfer plans may be hit by the effect of the pandemic: ‘Nobody should be under any illusions about the scale of the challenge facing everyone in football and it may not be business as usual for any clubs, including ourselves, in the transfer market this summer.
‘As ever our priority is the success of team, but we need visibility of the impact across the whole industry, including timings of the transfer window, and the wider financial picture, before we can talk about a return to normality.’
However, United continue to be linked with a host of Europe’s star strikers – Sportsmail analyses those players, how they would fit in at United and whether they really could move to Old Trafford in the coming months.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could plunge for a number of different attackers this summer
Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward stated it may not be ‘business as usual’ this summer
The Borussia Dortmund forward continues to be linked with a big-money move to Old Trafford, with the Bundesliga club said to be open to selling for the right fee.
However, that asking price is rumoured to be set at a staggering £117m for the 20-year-old, with Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachmin Watzke recently admitting: ‘I don’t think a club will pay the fee we want.’
Sancho has enjoyed another excellent season in Germany, scoring 20 goals and registering 20 assists for Dortmund, who finished second in the Bundesliga.
Jadon Sancho has had another prolific season for Borussia Dortmund and is Utd’s top target
The ex-Man City man is certainly one of Europe’s hottest properties, and after being unceremoniously substituted earlier in the season by coach Lucien Favre against Bayern Munich, the relationship between the pair has been questioned ever since.
The England international would be a star acquisition for Solskjaer’s team, and his ability to create chances from out-wide would no doubt give United a different dimension in attack.
The Mexican has picked up where he left off since the Premier League restarted on June 17.
Flourishing in a Wolves side which continues to surpass expectations, Jimenez has scored 18 goals in all competitions, and has scored against West Ham and Bournemouth since the resumption.
A hard-worker, prolific in the air and composed in front of goal, the 29-year-old has been linked with a mega £90m move to Old Trafford.
Wolves striker Raul Jimenez has led his side to the brink of Champions League qualification
However, that could all depend on where Wolves finish this season. As well as progressing steadily in the Europa League, Nuno Espirito Santo’s side are rivalling United for a Champions League spot.
With fifth currently a qualifying spot as a result of Manchester City’s two-year ban from European football, Wolves are the occupants of that spot, three points ahead of United who have a game in hand.
Should Wolves qualify for Europe’s premier competition, it would seem unlikely that Jimenez would leave. However, should they miss out and United make it, Jimenez could foreseeably move up north.
Another top European striker who continues to be linked with a move away from his current club, Lyon forward Moussa Dembele is interesting a host of Premier League clubs.
Alongside Chelsea and Leicester, United are another team interested in the former Celtic and Fulham striker. Dembele has scored 16 goals in Ligue 1 before the season was curtailed.
Lyon’s Moussa Dembele could leave the club with no Champions League football on the table
Most crucially, however, Lyon have been denied Champions League football – which could see the player himself look elsewhere.
An out-and-out goalscorer, United could do a lot worse than plunge for the Frenchman.
Not so much a number nine but an attacking winger, Chelsea’s Willian is set to leave the club at the end of this season.
Though the Brazilian has agreed to an extension to stay until the 2019-20 season is concluded, the Blues refused to offer the three-year contract he desired.
As such, the 31-year-old – who continues to play regularly for Frank Lampard’s side – is available on a free transfer, with United one of a host of clubs interested.
Willian wants to stay in England if possible, and with his craft, pace and eye for goal, he would represent a decent short-term option for United this summer, on the cheap.
The former United striker, now at struggling Bournemouth, was subject to a £25m bid in January from his former club.
Looking for cover for the injured Rashford, United turned to Norwegian King, who was on their books as a youngster but never made the grade under Sir Alex Ferguson.
Could United re-visit this option this summer though, particularly if Bournemouth are relegated?
Bournemouth striker Josh King was subject of a £25m bid from United in the January window
WISSAM BEN YEDDER
MAN UTD’S MOST LETHAL DUOS IN THE LAST TEN YEARS
2010-11: Dimitar Berbatov (22 goals) and Javier Hernandez (20 goals)
2011-12: Wayne Rooney (34), Hernandez/Danny Welbeck (12 each)
2012-13: Robin van Persie (30), Hernandez (18)
2013-14: Rooney (19), Van Persie (18)
2014-15: Rooney (14), Juan Mata/Van Persie (10 each)
2015-16: Anthony Martial (17), Rooney (15)
2016-17: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (28), Marcus Rashford/Henrikh Mkhitaryan (11 each)
2017-18: Romelu Lukaku (27), Rashford/Jesse Lingard (13)
2018-19: Paul Pogba (16), Lukaku (15)
2019-20: Rashford/Martial (19 each)
As of last week, the Monaco striker is said to have told Monaco he wants to leave the club.
This has put United, and Premier League rivals Arsenal, on red alert for the French forward, who has scored 19 goals in all competitions this season,
Previously prolific with both Toulouse and Sevilla, Ben Yedder represents another lethal option up front for Solskjaer should he want to strengthen this summer.
Linked most heavily with Barcelona, the Inter Milan forward looks set to leave the club this summer.
The 22-year-old has scored 17 goals in all competitions for Antonio Conte’s side this season, and is deadly in front of goal.
Should a move to the Nou Camp not materialise, a transfer to the Premier League could be a foreseeable option, with Inter and United having done business in the past with the moves of Ashley Young and Romelu Lukaku.
The explosive Wolves winger has been one of the breakthrough stars in the Premier League this season.
With his lightning quick, direct style of play, Traore would improve the squad of any Premier League side he moved to.
In a situation not unlike Jimenez’s though, his future could depend on where Wolves finish this season, with Champions League football very much within their grasp. Should they miss out though, United are one of a number of interested suitors for the 24-year-old.
Wolves’ Adama Traore has been one of the standout attacking threats in the Premier League
P.S. ALEXIS SANCHEZ
Remember him? Signed from Arsenal amid great promise in January 2018, the Chilean struggled at Old Trafford, and was allowed to leave on loan last summer to Inter.
However, Sanchez has been equally uninfluential in Milan, and looks set to return to United this summer.
Will Solskjaer persevere with Sanchez, or cut him adrift? If Woodward is concerned about spending vast sums, maybe the once-lethal forward will get another opportunity at Old Trafford…
Alexis Sanchez is set to return to United this summer after failing to impress at Inter Milan