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I will play for Man united on condition – Man United willing to pay €100m for Sensational sporting CP striker with 50 goals and assists after surprise transfer decision



I will play for Man united on condition – Man United willing to pay €100m for Sensational sporting CP striker with 50 goals and assists after surprise transfer decision

A report from the Mirror has claimed that United scouts were among those in attendance for Sporting’s win in the Taca de Portugal over Benfica last Thursday.

While several players may have been the focus of United’s attention, Sporting striker Viktor Gyokeres scored his 31st goal of the season in that game and could offer a solution to an issue that has plagued Erik Ten Hag throughout his tenure at Old Trafford.

The United boss made it clear that the club wanted to bring in a striker at the turn of the year, though the need to comply with financial rules restricted United’s options ahead of larger funds being allocated for the summer window.

Ten Hag confirmed his plans had to change, saying: “It’s not a secret I wanted a striker.

“With the injury to Martial, we don’t really have the back-up. But it wasn’t possible because we have to match the FFP (financial fair play) rules. There are some disadvantages with FFP. To make space for FFP, you have to sell players and you have to sell good players and I don’t think that’s the way you build a team.”

This left Rasmus Hojlund as the only recognised centre-forward in the squad and Ten Hag short of alternatives to the 21-year-old. Here’s how Gyokeres could fit into United’s starting XI.

Senior striker
Gyokeres has enjoyed a sensational rise after learning under ex-United forward Mark Robins at Coventry City. His 33 goal contributions last season helped to fire the Sky Blues to within a penalty shootout of reaching the Premier League.

This resulted in Gyokeres sealing a £20.5m move to Sporting and the 25-year-old has flourished at the Portuguese giants, improving his tally to 32 goals at the weekend.

The Sweden international has previously been touted as a target for Arsenal and Chelsea but Sporting are expected to hold out for his €100m (£85.5m) release clause.

While arriving for such a price would likely force Gyokeres to become United’s first-choice striker at Hojlund’s expense, it would offset concerns over the latter’s workload.

United’s ideal scenario would have been for Hojlund to learn from and share minutes with a more senior striker this season but Anthony Martial’s injury troubles put an end to that plan.

That the Denmark international has overcome his early struggles to score seven goals in his last six league games is a testament to Hojlund’s talent, rather than effective squad planning.

Signing Gyokeres would allow United to rely on a more experienced striker and enable Hojlund to share the burden of helping to fire the club up the Premier League table.

Gyokeres would also provide some much-needed depth up front, a shortcoming that was highlighted by Wout Weghorst’s loan move last term.

All-out attack
Gyokeres’ height and physicality would also allow Ten Hag to pair him with Hojlund’s poacher instincts. The Swede currently plays as a lone striker for Sporting but regularly played in a two during his time with Coventry; Hojlund was similarly part of a front two at Atalanta.

It may not be the best fit for United’s current personnel. The need for Bruno Fernandes to play as a number 10 and Marcus Rashford’s effectiveness from the left flank limits the chances of either a diamond or 4-4-2 formation being used regularly. However, it could give United the edge in certain circumstances.

Whether playing against a more defensive team in a low block or chasing a late goal, there would be times when a functioning front two and moving Fernandes out wide would benefit United.

The extra attacking intent and different problems that Gyokeres and Hojlund could pose to opposition defences might result in several vital goals being scored throughout a season

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