Man United is one of two teams to have made a bid for a striker who can address Erik ten Hag’s problems, and according to reports, the Red Devils are ‘likely’ to win the race.
This month’s market focus at Old Trafford is on replacing Cristiano Ronaldo. Ten Hag can rely on Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford to lead the line, however, either might be out for the season if injured.
Injuries will be common in the second half of the season as well, with the fixture calendar being more crowded than ever due to the mid-season World Cup. With the race for the top four looking tight, it’s not only Manchester United combing the market this month.
Once Cody Gakpo was snapped up by Liverpool, Joao Felix appeared as a fine option on paper for United. Atletico is open to loaning Portugal international out and a six-month deal would tie United over until the summer, at which point they’re expected to sign Ronaldo’s true replacement.
However, Sky Sports claim Atletico’s lofty demands have made United balk. Instead, the door is now ajar for Arsenal and the Telegraph report they’re ‘stepping up’ their move.
Ajax’s Mohammed Kudus is another intriguing option open to Ten Hag. However, the versatile frontman can only be signed outright in the January window and if United’s owners wouldn’t stump up the cash for Gakpo, it stands to reason they won’t for Kudus either.
Instead, TEAMtalk has been told Al Nassr’s Vincent Aboubakar is a genuine option. A short-term loan would share many similarities with the deal that brought Odion Ighalo to Manchester back in 2021.
The Mirror report Al Nassr – who are the club that just signed Ronaldo – can’t actually register the Portuguese icon at present.
The Saudi side is already at the limit on their quota of overseas players and as such, requires an exit to make room.
Ronaldo move tees up Man Utd signing
Given that he plays in Ronaldo’s position, Aboubakar is the obvious pick. OKAZ, a Saudi news agency, is now heavily promoting a move to Old Trafford.
To begin, they claim Al Nassr has ‘agreed’ with Aboubakar to loan him out this month. In other words, he has been selected to make space for Ronaldo.
Manchester United and Turkish club Fenerbahce are said to have made bids.
It is then stated that Aboubakar is “likely” to “leave for the English team,” who has supposedly provided the more enticing offer. According to them, United will win the race because of the “strength of the show” and the club’s desire to lure him.
The Saudi media appears to be certain that the six-month loan will be approved, and their statements have been picked up by the Mirror.
What kind of player would Manchester United sign?
During his time with FC Porto (2014-20) and Besiktas (2016/17 – on loan) and 2020/21, the Cameroonian striker averaged about a goal every other game in tougher divisions.
Aboubakar signed a three-year contract with Al Nassr in the summer of 2021. However, after 18 months, Ronaldo’s presence forced him out.
Aboubakar appears to be a straightforward case of United adding depth. Even if Ten Hag’s forward line is cleared, it’s unlikely he’ll ever be chosen over Rashford and Martial in the most important games.
That’s not to imply his presence would be insignificant.
Ten Hag will rotate between the League Cup, FA Cup, and Europa League for the Red Devils, who compete in four competitions.
It’s also worth noting that Ighalo’s loan arrival in 2021 was met with skepticism at the time, despite the fact that he scored five critical goals in cup competitions and impressed enough to secure a permanent move at the end of the season.
If the Saudi reports are correct and Aboubakar is on his way to Manchester, he will try to have the same impact as Ighalo.