Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal will look to follow up the signings of Matteo Darmian from Torino and Bastian Schweinsteiger from Bayern Munich with a move for Aston Villa striker and Liverpool transfer target Christian Benteke.
According to The Sun, van Gaal has made signing a top striker a transfer priority after completing two deals on the same day for Schweinsteigher and Darmian.
Those transfers fill needs in central midfield and at right-back for Manchester United, but with Robin van Persie looking set for a move to Turkey and with Radamel Falcao now a Chelsea player, it is clear the Red Devils need reinforcements up front.
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Benteke, 24, has been strongly linked with a move to United’s rivals, Liverpool. The 24-year-old Belgian international has been subject of a £22.5m offer from the Anfield club already this summer, but that’s £10m short of Aston Villa’s valuation.
Benteke has a £32.5m release clause and the report states that Louis van Gaal would be willing to go that high to secure the signing.
Where are all the good strikers?
There’s a shortage of top striker talent in the transfer market this summer, which has allowed clubs like Napoli to demand exorbitant fees for their in-demand players.
The Italian club want £67m for Gonzalo Higuain while Bayern Munich want £60m for Thomas Muller and Spurs would not even consider £45m for Harry Kane.
With RVP likely leaving and Javier Hernandez a reported target for MLS side Orlando City, van Gaal will need to move fast to bring in a partner for Wayne Rooney before the start of the Premier League season.
Whether Benteke is the right man is another question, as although he can be devastating on form, there are concerns that he does go missing for large stretches.
Considering the market for strikers though, Manchester United may have little choice but to settle for the gifted forward.
What do you think Manchester United fans - is Benteke the right signing?