Transfer gossip: Man Utd pull out of striker race due to £16m cost as Ighalo alternative looks likely

Odion Ighalo should keep his phone switched on just in case. Man Utd are delving into the loan market for a forward and £16m for Joao Felix is far too much.

JOAO FACTOR
Everyone remembers what they were doing when they discovered that Man Utd had signed Odion Ighalo on loan in January 2020. That’s because everyone was laughing when they discovered that Man Utd had signed Odion Ighalo on loan in January 2020.

The deal itself actually made sense. Ighalo was a cheap enough stopgap who was available in a time of desperation and he scored a few goals despite a relative lack of opportunities.

Perhaps that is why Man Utd are contemplating dipping back into the loan market in their continued search for a centre-forward.

That is the line from every outlet with a reliable connection to Old Trafford. The Daily Telegraph say the record spend in the summer has necessitated a more frugal winter.

The Daily Mirror name Rafael Leao, Dusan Vlahovic and Goncalo Ramos as long-term targets who will be targeted in future windows, but the need for someone to fill in now opens up a slightly different field of options.

Joao Felix will not be involved. The Times say that any permanent striker deal must be for ‘a small fee’ or a loan and so while Man Utd have looked at the Atletico Madrid forward, the £16m needed in terms of a loan fee and the entirety of the 23-year-old’s wages ‘would be too much’. The lack of an option to buy clause is also a stumbling block.

Didn’t really look like they needed a striker against Nottingham Forest. But then that was Nottingham Forest.

TAKE YOUR PICK
Man Utd might try and spin a few transfer plates. They are not alone in monitoring the situation surrounding Jordan Pickford and a five-year Everton contract which has been agreed but still not signed off.

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The Toffees, perhaps noticing a major tournament was coming up, managed to shake hands on a new deal for Pickford before the World Cup. But the Daily Mail say Man Utd, Chelsea and Spurs have been ‘alerted’ to the fact that nothing has been formally done.

The delay is said to be ‘at boardroom level’ and nothing to do with Pickford, who is still happy to continue at Everton. There is nevertheless ‘surprise’ at the hold-up, with 18 months left on his stay.

It remains likely that Pickford will commit his future to Goodison Park but those interested clubs are ‘asking to be kept abreast’ of developments.

BAD BOY
Chelsea
might be under new ownership but their famous transfer thirst remains unsatable. Deals for David Datro Fofana and Andrey Santos are essentially done and Benoit Badiashile is almost over the line.

The Monaco centre-half is expected to have his move finalised soon, with personal terms unlikely to be an issue and Graham Potter eager to increase his team’s tactical flexibility with the addition of a player who is comfortable in a three or four-man defence.

The only slight problem might be the valuation, with Monaco wanting more than £35m for Badiashile. But that is a figure Chelsea are only likely to baulk at for a while before deciding they may as well just go for it.

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