Danny Welbeck is the man Reading have highlighted to save them from the drop after launching a bid to sign the England international on loan for the remainder of the campaign.
Opportunities at Manchester United have been restricted with Robin van Persie leading their title charge from the front and Wayne Rooney lurking just behind him, while Javier Hernandez is Sir Alex Ferguson’s go-to-guy from the bench when things aren’t going to plan.
Filling the void vacated by Dimitar Berbatov on the United bench will be something Welbeck is resentful of, especially after an impressive 2011-12 season and this could open his mind to a move away from Old Trafford, yet whether the club would authorise this having already shipped out Chilean striker Angelo Henriquez on a similar deal remains to be seen.
Welbeck has started just seven Premier League games this term, the majority of these occurring when Sir Alex has dictated that van Persie is in need of a rest, and has managed just the one goal in all competitions.
If Welbeck did make the temporary switch to the Royals he would be guaranteed the first team role he must believe he is deserving of, yet agreeing to such a deal would almost certainly be pulling the curtain down on his Red Devils career.
He shone during a loan stint with Sunderland in the 2010-11 campaign which propelled him into the limelight at United but, after proving his top-flight worth with a lesser club once already, doing it again would represent a blatant backward step.
Similarly, if he can’t force his way into Sir Alex’s plans now, how will that change in the near future? He’s not going to become a better player than van Persie or Rooney overnight, nor is he likely to adopt Chicarito’s predatory instincts.
He would no doubt star in a struggling Reading team; he’s even capable of scoring the goals to keep them up, which is priced at a sizeable 5/1. Yet, for Welbeck himself, making the move would be an acceptance of the fact that he’s not of the required calibre to play up front for one of the world’s elite clubs.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date