Manchester United are understood to have joined the race to sign West Brom striker Saido Berahino after the England Under-21 international was spotted in the Old Trafford stands watching Monday night’s FA Cup quarter-final clash against Arsenal.
This is according to the Mirror, who report that the Baggies’ star watched the match alongside his representative Aidy Ward.
Berahino hinted last month that he will attempt to leave West Brom in the summer, telling Sky Sports that he plans on moving on to “bigger things”. And with Manchester United set to bolster their attacking options after the season finishes, Louis van Gaal might be tempted to make a move for the 21-year-old.
Berahino to replace Falcao?
Berahino, who has scored 18 goals in all competitions for West Brom this season, could be the man to replace Radamel Falcao.
Van Gaal appears to have lost faith in the Colombia international, who was an unused substitute against the Gunners, just as he was against Newcastle United five days earlier.
Falcao finished at United
That Van Gaal opted to send on winger Adnan Januzaj instead of Falcao, with Manchester United in desperate need of an equaliser towards the end of the second half, suggests there is very little chance of the Red Devils signing the South American forward on a permanent deal.
It’s understood that Falcao is currently earning a staggering £265,000-a-week at Manchester United, while Berahino - who has scored 14 goals more than the Colombian this term - is earning a far more modest £20,000-a-week.
Before signing his current deal in November 2013, Berahino was earning just £850-a-week. But he penned a new deal with the Baggies two months after scoring the winning goal against Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Berahino, who was linked with a move to United earlier this season, would command a hefty transfer fee - probably in the region of £15-20 million, given his current ability and potential - but one that would still pale in comparison to the £43.5 million fee AS Monaco are demanding for Falcao.
Berahino not good enough for United
However, there will be plenty of Manchester United fans who will be concerned that Berahino lacks the required quality to become a Red Devils’ star.
Furthermore, there have been multiple rumours over the past couple of years regarding the Liverpool and Tottenham target’s alleged bad attitude.
It was even reported by the Telegraph’s respected journalist John Percy last month that West Brom were so infuriated by an interview conducted by Berahino earlier this year that they not only planned to scrap contract talks, but were also ready to consider any offers over the £20 million-mark.
Manchester United could sign many better strikers than Berahino given the funds at their disposal - and Van Gaal should be aiming higher - but he would be a decent squad player if the Red Devils are seeking a replacement for Javier Hernandez.
United fans: is Berahino good enough to earn a move to Old Trafford? Which striker do you think could replace Falcao next season? Tell us by leaving a comment in the box below!