Manchester United make puzzling move for Monaco man

Manchester United need a striker. Their showing at Swansea, Wayne Rooney’s in particular, made that perfectly clear. The England captain is simply not suited to the role that Louis van Gaal is asking him to play.

The Dutchman wants Rooney to play on the centre halves, not move wide and occupy the defence, as Gary Neville pointed out on Super Sunday. The former United right-back was convinced the Red Devils would sign a new striker before the window closes on Tuesday evening and he may just be right.

Reports suggest that the north-west outfit are set to splash a huge fee on a centre forward, in the shape of Anthony Martial. The Monaco striker is apparently the club’s major target over the next day or so and a bid of over £30m has already been lodged.

That is a great deal of money for a player who many United supporter will have to Google. Martial is a French under 21 international and at the age of just 19 he already has over 40 league appearances for the principality.

However, he is hardly prolific. The Massy-born forward has scored just 11 times for Leonardo Jardim’s men, not a return that seems to command upwards of £35m.

Last season was a breakthrough one for the former Lyon youth teamer, he hit the dizzy heights of nine Ligue 1 strikes. The same as West Ham man Mobido Maiga, who could also be available should this move fail.

Talk has also been of a move for QPR man Charlie Austin, for less than half the price. Although underwhelming, that signing would make far more sense than any proposed move for Les Rouges et Blancs’ number nine.

Martial is undoubtedly a real prospect, but nothing more. If this deal does go through it smacks of a panic signing from the Old Trafford club. It surely must be a worry for supporters that their team are set to pay vastly over the odds for an unproven, uncapped teenager.

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