After handing costly flop Radamel Falcao a rare start at Stamford Bridge for the game against Chelsea, Louis van Gaal must have finally drawn a conclusion that the Colombian has no future at Old Trafford after an ineffectual display.
Certainly the following morning’s gossip pages indicate that the former Atletico Madrid striker is finished at Manchester United, with Aston Villa’s Christian Benteke reportedly lined up for a £25m summer swoop.
The big Belgian striker has enjoyed an upturn in form under new Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood, scoring nine goals in his last eight games to help the Midlands strugglers ease worries of relegation.
According to the Daily Star, those performances have convinced Van Gaal that Benteke is the man he needs to replace his bumbling loanee front man, with a bid thought to be chief among his priorities this summer.
Since joining Villa from Genk in 2012, Benteke has become a lauded Premier League striker, with his power and pace feared across the league.
An English career spent largely battling at the wrong end of the table only has its charms for so long, however, and the opportunity to fight for titles and other silverware isn’t likely to put Benteke off a move away from Villa Park.
With Robin van Persie ageing and injured, Van Gaal will only have Wayne Rooney and the young and raw James Wilson to call on after Falcao’s torrid temporary stay in Manchester is over.
A dip into the transfer market to find a replacement for the Monaco man is therefore necessary in order for United to continue their improvement under the Dutchman.
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