Everton have named their price for Manchester United target Romelu Lukaku and it seems the Red Devils will have to stump up £65m in order to land the prolific Belgian.
Lukaku may have failed to make the grade at Chelsea but given his strike record since leaving Stamford Bridge interim manager Guus Hiddink would presumably love to be able to call upon the 22-year-old to help fire the Blues up the league.
Former Anderlecht star Lukaku caught the eye in his homeland after netting a stunning 41 goals in 98 games but failed to find the back of the net in 15 stop-start outings with the west Londoners.
He found his feet with a loan spell at West Brom, firing 17 goals in 38 appearances and has continued that form at Goodison Park, where 105 games as a Toffee have yielded a stunning 55 goals.
That Lukaku would be a great addition to a stuttering United attack is undoubted but with Louis van Gaal already under pressure having spent a staggering £250m+ since arriving at Old Trafford the Dutchman could be in the market for cheaper alternatives.
And Ladbrokes News, never ones to shy away from a top five-style story, have done the United manager’s hard work for him.
So, without further ado, here are five top quality strikers United could land for less than £65m and still significantly boost their attacking prowess.
Thomas Muller – Bayern Munich – £52.5m*
Under contract at the Allianz Arena until 2021 Muller seems content to remain a one-club man and see out his career at Bayern but with Pep Guardiola revealing he will leave Munich at the end of the season much will depend on who replaces the Spaniard and indeed where the gaffer himself ends up.
Muller has netted 141 goals in his 330 games at Bayern, reaching 20+ in each of the last four seasons, and could be the perfect fit for the Red Devils.
Robert Lewandowski – Bayern Munich – £49m*
While Muller has already been linked with a move to Old Trafford his Bayern team-mate could prove a more viable option with a valuation of £49m and two years less on his current deal.
Lewa only joined Bayern in 2014 but in much the same way that Robin van Persie went to United to play for Sir Alex Ferguson the Poland international left Dortmund to play under Pep Guardiola. When the Spaniard leaves should the 27-year-old decide on a change of scenery the man with 151 goals from 262 Bundesliga games would likely be at the top of any United wish list.
Gonzalo Higuain – Napoli – £38.5m*
With just two years remaining on his Napoli contract Higuain is constantly being linked with a move to England, with the Red Devils never far from the conversation. The 28-year-old Argentine was a shock departure from Real Madrid in 2013, having netted 121 goals in 264 games for Los Blancos.
Madrid’s loss was Napoli’s gain too, with Higuain netting 75 goals in 128 outings for the Italians so far. At £38.5m and with proven ability at the highest of levels Gonzalo, although six years older, could be a better value signing than Lukaku.
Karim Benzema – Real Madrid – £35m*
Nothing will make you feel surplus to requirements quite as much as playing alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez and that is exactly what the Frenchman must do on a weekly basis.
That he continues to shine is a testament to his ability and the fact United have courted his signature since his Lyon days back in 2007 could mean Old Trafford is the place to finally make Benzema feel like the main man. A price tag of £35m would seem a snip too for a man with 234 goals at the age of 28.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Borussia Dortmund – £24.5m*
With the relatively bargain basement price of £24.5m the Dortmund ace would indeed seem great value when compared to Lukaku. He may be four years the Belgian’s senior but with 68 goals in two and half seasons with BVB he clearly is every bit as fearsome in front of goal.
He may have four years left on his current deal but the lure of the Premier League is always hard to ignore, especially if you ply your trade in Germany and don’t play for Bayern Munich. Could Aubameyang be the cheaper answer to United’s prayers?
*All valuations according to Transfermrkt.com
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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