Louis van Gaal sent the gossip columns into overload this morning when he revealed that Manchester United were in talks to sign a surprise striker.
“He’s in the process,” Sky Sports quotes the Dutchman as saying while on United’s pre-season tour of America. “It’s not the striker that the media has written about. You have to wait and see.
“The transfer period is open until August 31. You have to wait.”
The Red Devils have allowed Robin van Persie to leave for Fenerbahce and passed up the chance to permanently sign four-goal loanee Radamel Falcao, who has since joined English champions Chelsea.
ESPN reported last week that United had lodged a bid for Bayern Munich forward Thomas Muller, while talkSPORT had suggested that both Barcelona’s Pedro and PSG’s Edinson Cavani were on their radar.
But the Metro claims to have identified United’s mystery target as France hotshot Alexandre Lacazette, who led the 2014-15 Ligue 1 scoring charts with 29 goals as Lyon finished second in the table.
The Daily Mail also credits Arsenal with an interest in the 24-year-old, but goes on to quote Lacazette committing his future to Lyon, having helped them return to the Champions League last term.
He said: “I want to show those who think that I have my head elsewhere that I’m still here. I have already said that I want to continue with Lyon. I have shown that I’m fully committed. It’s football that interests me, not money. I hope to have a strong season.”
Lacazette would not be a marquee signing of Muller or Cavani status, but he would offer United a quicker attacking threat perfectly in keeping with the club’s traditions of playing fast, direct football.
That style of play was not always applicable to Van Gaal’s side last term, but the signings of Bastian Schweinsteiger, Morgan Schneiderlin and Memphis Depay suggest that they will play with more energy.
The Mirror reports that Van Gaal has assured captain Wayne Rooney of the starting central striker role next season, making a swoop for Cavani or Muller less likely and interest in Lacazette more credible.
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