Kane rival and Chelsea flop among five cut-price strikers Manchester United could sign in January

Ian Watson
Serhou Guirassy, Mehdi Taremi and Gabriel Barbosa could all be on Manchester United's radar.
Serhou Guirassy, Mehdi Taremi and Gabriel Barbosa could all be on Manchester United's radar.

Manchester United are known to be on the hunt for a cheap goalscorer in the January transfer window. Could Mehdi Taremi, Serhou Guirassy or Gabigol be 2024’s Wout Weghorst?

With United strapped for cash amid FFP concerns and uncertainty over their ownership, here are five strikers attainable for less than £20million…


Mehdi Taremi
Let’s start with perhaps the most plausible and probably the cheapest of the lot: Porto’s Iranian hit-man.

Taremi’s current deal expires at the end of the season so Porto will be looking to make a few euros in January. Most likely through a permanent sale, though they could sanction a loan, if there is a fee involved, which would allow the 31-year-old to retain his looming status as a free agent.

In three seasons in Portugal, Taremi has averaged 27 goals a campaign, scoring more each year and culminating with his 31-goal haul last term. That seemed to prompt Milan to move but just as a deal was agreed, Porto and the player shifted the goalposts.

Taremi’s experience would dovetail nicely with Rasmus Hojlund and his fitness record is solid, averaging 49 appearances per season with Porto. It seems the striker would cost less than £10million as Porto look to avoid losing him for nothing next summer.


Serhou Guirassy
The Stuttgart striker has caught on fire this season, keeping pace with Harry Kane at the top of the Bundesliga scoring charts. Indeed, last month, Guirassy was the leading scorer in Europe’s top five leagues before a hamstring strain allowed Kane to catch up and nudge ahead.

Guirassy will be 28 before the end of the season and the French-born Guinea striker has had to wait for his breakthrough at the top. He has had spells with Lille, Auxerre, Cologne, Amiens and Rennes before joining Stuttgart last year.

The former France youth international has earned himself a reputation as a fox in the box, with his goalscoring instincts helping him to plunder 14 goals in eight Bundesliga games. Guirassy has a goal every 46 minutes; Kane has bagged every 58 minutes.

Such scoring feats would normally hike up a striker’s valuation, especially mid-season, but United – or anyone else – could benefit from a clause in Guirassy’s contract that would make him attainable for a shade over £15million.

READ MORE: Top scorers in 2023: Haaland v Kane now a battle for the ages


Gabriel Barbosa 
The Flamengo striker has unfinished business in Europe. Between 2016 and 2018, Barbosa managed only two goals in 15 appearances at Inter and Benfica. The 27-year-old had to return to Brazil to recover his scoring touch, and his previous lack of potency in Italy and Portugal would be a concern for United.

But Gabigol has averaged 30 goals a season over the last five years with Flamengo and the fact he has only a year remaining on his contract has sparked speculation he could be on the move again.

Indeed, there was talk that Barbosa was the subject of a loan offer from United that involved sending Antony the other way. That was dismissed, but United could still move for the striker.

Barbosa, who is also said to be attracting interest from AC Milan, is reported to be available for around £20million.


Alvaro Morata
It has been tricky to keep track of Morata’s status in recent years. It generally involves Atletico or Juventus. The former currently own the Spain striker, while the latter reportedly want to bring him back to Turin for a third stint.

As it stands, though, Morata is approaching the expiry of his contract at the end of the current season and, even if Atletico insist on abiding by those terms, it seems he could be available for just over £18million owing to his buyout clause.

The Chelsea flop has been in superb form this season for Diego Simeone’s side, scoring 12 goals in 14 appearances. He looked thoroughly miserable at Stamford Bridge so Morata could require some persuasion to return to the Premier League, especially with Atletico keen to renew in addition to Juve’s fondness and the inevitable interest from Saudi.


Che Adams
Luis Suarez could be available after the Brazilian season concludes next month. Evidently, the Botafogo veteran has not lost his touch, scoring 23 goals and laying on 16 more this year. But the prospect of United moving for the ex-Liverpool striker seems… remote.

The last striker they signed in January was taken from a Championship club and United are no less of a basket case a year after borrowing Weghorst, so why not Adams?

There was plenty of Premier League interest in the Scotland striker during the summer, with Everton, Bournemouth and Wolves all keen, but Southampton stood firm despite the fact Adams is approaching the end of his contract.

The 27-year-old began the season on fire, with three goals in the first three games before two more assists but nothing since September 23. Adams has come off the bench in as many games as he’s started and Saints have a decision to make before the inevitable top-flight interest.

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