Three Darwin Nunez alternatives Manchester United could sign in transfer window

Man United appear ready to miss out on the acquisition of Darwin Nunez, with Liverpool reportedly willing to break their transfer record to secure him.

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Finding a striker to compete with Cristiano Ronaldo next season could be one of the most difficult tasks Manchester United has this summer.


With Edinson Cavani poised to leave when his contract officially expires on June 30, United will be left with only Ronaldo as their senior striker option. Following an outstanding first season back at Old Trafford, Erik ten Hag has already announced that the Portugal captain will be part of his plans for next season.


Despite United’s collective troubles this season, Ronaldo was a shining light, scoring 24 goals across all competitions. If Ten Hag sticks with a lone striker system next season, he has little chance of being ousted as United’s first-choice striker.


As a result, United is likely to look for a striker willing to wait and play second fiddle to the 37-year-old. Liverpool is apparently willing to break their transfer record in order to sign Darwin Nunez from Benfica, with an £85 million price tag being floated, thereby pushing United out of the running.


Nonetheless, the show must go on, and United will look for alternatives elsewhere. With acquiring Nunez clearly out of the question, MEN Sport has taken a hard look at three other alternatives Ten Hag might consider this summer.


Brentford’s Ivan Toney

Although Toney is not the type of big-name acquisition that United fans are used to seeing, the Brentford striker is on the rise in his career. After scoring 33 goals to help the Bees win promotion from the Championship in 2020/21, he did not disappoint as he made the step up to the Premier League this season.


Toney scored 12 goals and provided five assists in 33 league appearances to help the Londoners avoid relegation in their maiden season as a Premier League team. Toney has all of the necessary traits to be a modern-day striker, including a quick turn of pace and a strong sense of strength and toughness.


Toney, like West Ham’s Michail Antonio, progressed through the levels before landing his big chance at the top level. The Brentford talisman might be considered as a reasonable alternative for United, especially if the Bees dig in their heels and demand a large fee to keep him.


Napoli’s Victor Osimhen

Osimhen, who has been linked with a move to Old Trafford in recent months, might be a potential alternative for United. Over the previous few years, the Nigerian international has gone from strength to strength, establishing himself as one of Europe’s hottest young strikers.


Osimhen joined Napoli from the French side Lille over two years ago and has scored 28 goals in his first two seasons in Italy, 18 of which have come this season. His career is only going downhill because he has a blistering pace and the ability to run with the ball and take defenders on.


Several estimates for the 23-year-old have been floated in recent months, leaving it unclear how much Napoli would be willing to pay for him. However, if their asking price was affordable for United, it would be a wise investment, both now and in the future.


Union Berlin – Taiwo Awoniyi

On paper, Awoniyi, like Toney, does not appear to be the type of acquisition that would throw United fans into a frenzy. Turning to the former Liverpool youth, on the other hand, may make a lot of sense.


This season, the 24-year-old scored 20 goals in all competitions, 15 of which came in the Bundesliga, to help Union Berlin finish fifth in the league. He also had five assists across all competitions, for a total of 25 direct goal contributions in 43 games across all formats — a very impressive and respectable campaign.


Although scoring goals is his major focus, he is also adept of holding the ball up and making darting runs in behind, giving him the qualities to become an all-around striker in the future. Given his age and history, he may be content to serve as Ronaldo’s back up and learn from the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.

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