Three low budget goal-machines Erik Ten Hag could target as alternatives to £68m Darwin Nunez


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Manchester United is looking for a forward to assist Erik ten Hag thrive in his first season at the club this summer. Cristiano Ronaldo is the only striker left at Manchester United after Edinson Cavani left on a free transfer and Anthony Martial is expected to go.

United is interested in signing Darwin Nunez from Benfica in a deal for up to £68 million. However, with Frenkie de Jong and Jurrien Timber, both of whom might cost £115 million or more, on United’s radar, there isn’t much room in the cash for other players.

And, with Ronaldo still at the club, does spending millions on a striker who won’t be first choice make sense? MEN Sport looks at three strikers who may fill in for United’s Portuguese superstar this season for less than £40 million:

Awoniyi Taiwo

Awoniyi has scored 15 goals for Union Berlin this season, helping the German team qualify for the Europa League. What’s more impressive is that this is from an xG of 14 according to FBref, implying that if given more chances to shoot, he may score more goals.

But Awoniyi provides much more than goals; he is a very well-rounded forward who can hold the ball up, occupy defenders in the box, and also get in behind to continuously cause issues for the opposition. According to Bild, the 24-year-old striker might be available for roughly £21 million this summer, which is a fraction of what Nunez costs.

Gianluca Scamacca, 

You could sign Scamacca from Sassuolo for a somewhat higher fee of £34 million. Scamacca has 16 goals in 36 games this season, and his presence in the box is something Ten Hag looks for in his strikers, yet he can also impact the game deeper by being engaged in the build-up.

Under Ten Hag, the striker must be able to make room for the likes of Bruno Fernandes, Jadon Sancho, and Donny van de Beek. Could Scamacca be the solution that makes this possible?

Sebastian Haller/Brian Brobbey

If everything else fails, returning to Ajax for the attackers with whom Ten Hag flourished this season could be a viable plan B. (even if Brobbey was on loan for RB Leipzig, he has still not secured a permanent deal to Amsterdam yet this summer). Haller is said to be available for £35 million, whereas Brobbey is said to be only £12.7 million.

Both strikers have previously played under Ten Hag and will hopefully be able to slot into United’s front line efficiently. Haller, on the other hand, might raise some eyebrows given his troubled time at West Ham.

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