Manchester United targeting Serie A best winger amid contract talks

Manchester United have shortlisted AC Milan forward Rafael Leao in their quest for a marquee forward signing, according to Italian media.

Erik ten Hag’s striking options are almost laughable considering the stature and current revitalisation of United.

A loanee and a forever injured player in Wout Weghorst and Anthony Martial, respectively, are the Dutchman’s current No. 9 squad members.

With such, enlisting a new striker has been deemed as priority number one by the United hierarchy, as the Muppetiers have nicely summarised here.

Victor Osimhen of Napoli and Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur are supposedly the centre-forwards who United will chase first this summer, with Juventus’ Dusan Vlahovic and Benfica’s Goncalo Ramos also in the list.

Rafael Leao

According to Pianeta Milan, however, United are keen to pursue Portuguese forward Rafael Leao.

With a release clause of €150million alongside potentially big-spending new owners at Old Trafford, the 23-year-old’s name has been highlighted by United, alleges the report.

This news, which Matteo Ronchetti has regarded as an exclusive, also mentions Gazzetta dello Sport‘s recent update that contract negotiations between Leao and Milan are still yet to progress into a full agreement.

The consequent timing of this ‘exclusive’ is rather convenient as Leao’s representatives seek to increase some last minute bonuses and financial incentives for their client.

Leao is allegedly demanding a new yearly salary of €7.5m plus a €2m signing-on fee.

The illegitimacy of Ronchetti’s report can be evidenced by Leao’s favoured position – he is a left-winger.

The 23-year-old has played 20 times in this position in Serie A this season.

United’s own forward star, Marcus Rashford, has scored 14 goals from this position in the Premier League. His irregular deployment as a centre-forward this year has been deemed as necessary rather than ideal.

The suggestion that United would be willing to dish out €150m for another left winger – a release clause which is expected to be maintained in the Portugal international’s new deal – when they are in desperate need for an archetype yet dynamic No 9 is, therefore, a moot point.

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