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As if Manchester United’s task of chasing down noisy neighbours Manchester City wasn’t already hard enough. The £51million capture of Erling Haaland – confirmed by the Premier League leaders on Tuesday subject to personal terms – suggests Pep Guardiola’s side are now equipped to continue their domination of English football. Yet while United have missed out on yet another generational talent, there is still an abundance of talent in the shop window. Express Sport analyses four strikers who could yet become United’s very own answer to Haaland this summer…
Arguably the pick of the bunch and the name on the lips of most United supporters ahead of an exciting new era at Old Trafford.
The Uruguayan hitman, who has bagged 34 goals for Benfica this season in all competitions, will leave the Primeira Liga outfit this summer with super-agent Jorge Mendes already working on his exit.
Ten Hag is understood to be a huge fan of Nunez’s talents after the striker’s emphatic header dumped his Ajax side out of the Champions League back in March.
Nunez has continued to showcase his ability to lead the line in an exemplary fashion since then, bagging in both quarter-finals against Liverpool.
Not only can he run in behind defenders but he’s also an animal with his back to goal, with a reputation for bullying centre-backs.
He is exactly what United need in attack and arguably the closest thing to Haaland, having also outscored the Norwegian this season.
Benfica are seeking around £67m for his services though and should other clubs join United at the table, there’s every chance that figure will continue to skyrocket.
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The Napoli frontman is one of the best-kept secrets in world football.
Although he cost the Italian giants a pretty penny when signing from Lille in 2020, he is still operating beneath the radar.
The Nigerian is a ruthless finisher who will punish opponents if given a sniff at goal.
His movement, shooting ability with both feet and aerial prowess makes him a sexy option for United – although he will cost upwards of £70m.
Osimhen’s numbers are ready to explode, providing the next move of his career sees him join a team that builds around his qualities.Lautaro Martinez
Lautaro has been clear that he wants to stay with Inter but with the Serie A champions still combating financial issues, the Argentine could still make way this summer despite signing a new long-term contract in October.
He is a centre-forward of the Kun Aguero mould, who thrives off finishing his chances and punishing centre-backs.
Martinez has spent nearly four seasons sharpening his tools in Europe now and the 24-year-old is more than equipped to succeed in the Premier League.
If United could somehow tempt or prise him away from Inter, they would be signing one of the most-complete strikers on the planet.
He would not come cheap but he would guarantee an outlay of 20+ goals per season.Alexander Isak
Isak would represent a risk given that his release clause is worth circa £70m but he is perhaps the closest fit to Haaland in terms of actual profile.
Both are within a similar age range and Isak is starting to show glimpses of world-class potential.
Haaland is already at that level but in the right environment, Isak can really elevate his game to a whole new level.
Ten Hag is the perfect coach for his development and at Ajax, he has operated with another tall centre-forward in ex-West Ham man in Sebastien Haller.
The Ivory Coast international has fired home 33 goals in all competitions this season under the new Manchester United manager, suggesting that Ten Hag certainly knows how to build a team around a capable striker.
Isak is certainly one to watch and United would be shopping smartly if they were to invest in the Swedish international.
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