On the heels of Robin van Persie’s departure, as well as the end of Radamel Falcao’s largely disappointing term, Manchester United and boss Louis van Gaal have focused their efforts and considerable wealth on sprucing up the attack this summer.
Even with the addition of Memphis Depay, United are in desperate need of more attacking options with Van Persie joining Fenerbahce and Falcao signing with rival Chelsea. Wayne Rooney remains the sole striker from last term’s surprising fourth-place run and return to Champions League, but he and Depay can’t be expected to carry the entire load next season.
Hence, Daily Mail broke down Van Gaal’s top striking targets this summer: Tottenham’s Harry Kane, Paris Saint-Germain’s Edinson Cavani, Napoli’s Gonzalo Higuain, Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema, and Bayern Munich’s Thomas Muller.
Its a who’s who of world-class striking talent, but United face some significant hurdles in acquiring any one from that list.
For one, Kane’s fee could be set at a reasonable £45 million after he scored an incredible 33 goals in all competitions for Spurs last term. Considering his age of 21, a deal that expensive might be viewed as relatively cheap down the line.
But former Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp suggested the move wouldn’t be in Kane’s best interests.
"He's at a great club in Tottenham and it would send out all the wrong signals to Tottenham fans if they sell him now,” Redknapp told Sky Sports. "He is Tottenham. He's a young player and if in five or six years Tottenham don't get where he wants to go, they're not in the Champions League or whatever, then it's different.
"But he's still learning the game. He's a big fish at Tottenham. It's a great club, they've got fantastic facilities, a great training ground, good young players and an outstanding manager. I'm a big fan of Pochettino, he's excellent.”
Spurs might believe another amazing season from Kane, and the addition of two more complementary pieces, could be enough to propel them back into Champions League contention, meaning United will have to shell out a high fee for the Englishman.
Cavani’s fee would be a bit higher at £50 million, but he’s a dynamic striker likely tired of playing second-fiddle to Zlatan Ibrahimovic at Parc des Princes.
However, Higuain might be the better fit when compared to Cavani. The 27-year-old Argentine will cost as much as £67 million, but he’s a tried and true scorer who’s worked with the best in Italy and Spain. United will have to move quickly with Arsenal reportedly placing a bid of £43 million earlier this week. Van Gaal could be hanging back to see how Napoli responds to the bid rather than meeting their demands right away.
Benzema’s intriguing because of what he could mean to Angel Di Maria. The midfielder wilted after a handful of games last term, and the Frenchman Benzema just might be the familiar face Di Maria needs to get back on track at Old Trafford. Madrid have balked at offers for Benzema, but under new manager Rafa Benitez their could be a chance for a £40 million bid.
And other than his £60 million price, Muller might be the least attainable. The burgeoning German star continues to enjoy success with the Bundesliga champions, a club that routinely competes in Champions League and provides excellent competition to test Muller between Germany’s international schedule.