The most baffling transfer week in Man United history?

Date published: Saturday 1st February 2020 8:00

The infernal Man United January search for a striker has been absolutely hilarious.

The club sold themselves short in the summer, letting Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez go without signing a replacement. Thus they started this month fully aware they needed attacking reinforcements, and that was before they lost Marcus Rashford to an injury they themselves exacerbated.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer spent most of December and started this month unsuccessfully courting Erling Braut Haaland, moving onto Timo Werner and Raul Jimenez, Mario Mandzukic and even Edin bloody Dzeko.

But this past week has been particularly bizarre: a journey that has taken them from Argentina to China, with a random detour to Turkey in the middle, a plea for “someone who will break their nose to score a goal” and more than half of the world’s population linked with a move to Old Trafford – and then there’s those who want to find the UK bookmaker for you, because in some weird obscure world, United will win the PL title again in the near future.

At least one new name each day but for one – even transfer speculation respects the Sabbath – over the past week really is some going…


FRIDAY – Odion Ighalo (30, Shanghai Greenland Shenhua) and Islam Slimani (31, Monaco/Leicester)
‘Odion Ighalo and Islam Slimani are two of a number of players Man United have looked at as they try to bring in a striker on loan following the long-term injury to Marcus Rashford’ – Sky Sports.

Other interested clubs: Tottenham, obviously.


SATURDAY – Edinson Cavani (32, Atletico Madrid)
‘El Matador refused an offer from Man United. Atletico therefore seems to be the big favourite for this transfer, even if the showdown with PSG and Leonardo is far from won’ – Foot Mercato.

Other interested clubs: PSG, Chelsea, Arsenal


SUNDAY – No-one (although United were presumably pondering putting Harry Maguire up front after he scored against Tranmere)


MONDAY – Jean-Kevin Augustin (22, RB Leipzig)
‘”I did quite a lot of digging around this and have established that a number of clubs were interested and keen to sign him [Augustin]. And one of them was Manchester United”‘ – David Ornstein, The Athletic.

Other interested clubs: Leeds, Crystal Palace


TUESDAY – Maxi Gomez (23, Valencia)
‘Pending the signing of a sports director, incorporation that the entity of Old Trafford intend to announce during the month of February, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has prepared a list of priorities for the next season’s squad. One of the names on that list is Maxi Gómez’ – Cadena SER.

Other interested clubs: N/A


WEDNESDAY – Vedat Muriqi (25, Fenerbahce)
‘Premier League giant Manchester United aspired to sign Vedat Muriqi, Fenerbahçe’s Kosovo striker. It was stated that the English club wanted to transfer Vedat Muriqi and contacted the player’s manager’ – Yeni Safak.

Other interested clubs: Tottenham


THURSDAY – Adolfo Gaich (20, San Lorenzo)

Other interested clubs: Middlesbrough


FRIDAY – Dries Mertens (32, Napoli), Teemu Pukki (29, Norwich), Josh King (28, Bournemouth), Danny Ings (27, Southampton)
‘Manchester United have made enquiries for Napoli’s Dries Mertens and considered a bid for Norwich City’s Teemu Pukki as part of a wide-ranging search for an emergency striker’ – The Independent.

‘Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has failed with a bid to land Bournemouth forward Joshua King‘ – Daily Telegraph.

‘Danny Ings was the subject of an inquiry from Manchester United in the club’s January window search for a Premier League proven goalscorer who could hit the ground running – but Southampton have been clear he was not for sale’ – Daily Telegraph.

Other interested clubs: Plenty in Mertens. The rest? Erm…


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