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Ought to Man United signal Mario Balotelli, or convey again Chicharito? Scouting for a striker after Marko Arnautovic setback

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Manchester United have one thing of a historical past with regards to making sudden signings of veteran forwards, they usually appeared like resurrecting that switch technique this week with their curiosity in Marko Arnautovic.

Sadly, sources have instructed ESPN that Bologna‘s switch calls for and a fan backlash in opposition to the deal scuppered the deal and 33-year-old Austrian’s probabilities of becoming a member of the likes of Michael Owen, Henrik Larsson, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani amongst United’s roll name of senior strikers.

The membership’s curious strategy for strapping centre-forward Arnautovic, who hasn’t performed within the English prime flight since 2019 when he left West Ham for Shanghai Port in China, does reveal the kind of last-ditch signing they’re searching for to make with the brand new season already underway.

Fortunately, the pool of long-forgotten (however, crucially, nonetheless energetic) Premier League strikers runs surprisingly deep, with many former stars nonetheless plying their commerce all over the world regardless of being nicely into their 30s — making them prime candidates to affix United this month.

Ought to coach Erik ten Hag be critical about bolstering his attacking steady with a journeyman ahead of a sure age, then he has loads of choices.

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There are a number of former Manchester United gamers nonetheless plugging away on the market who would seemingly soar on the likelihood for one final dance at Outdated Trafford. Few followers might comprehend why United signed a 30-year-old Ighalo on mortgage from Shanghai Shenhua in February 2020 to cowl for a spate of attacking accidents, however he obtained to stay his dream and made his contribution rely with 5 targets in 19 video games, so a return for the Nigerian would barely elevate an eyebrow.

Chicharito scored 59 targets in 157 appearances for United between 2010 and 2015, incomes himself “fan favorite” standing within the course of. He may not be fairly as fresh-faced as he as soon as was, however his objective document for the Galaxy (29 targets in 57 video games) proves that he nonetheless is aware of the place the again of the web is.

Nani (35, Melbourne Victory)

Nani left United in 2015 and nearly eight years later he is nonetheless going robust. Certainly, the wiry Portuguese winger lately signed a two-year contract with A-League facet Melbourne Victory, demonstrating that he has loads of gasoline left within the tank.

United followers could possibly be forgiven for overlooking that Diouf ever performed for his or her membership, however he most actually did, scoring one objective in 9 first-team appearances in 2009-10. After stints with Hannover and Stoke, the Senegalese striker final turned out for Turkish facet Hatayspor in 2021 however has been a free agent for over a yr, which means {that a} transfer to convey him again on board at Outdated Trafford this late within the window needs to be easy.


Mario Balotelli (31, Adana Demirspor)

Balotelli would not have a tendency to stay round anyplace for very lengthy, and on condition that he is already been in Turkey for over a yr now, the previous Manchester Metropolis star is due for a transfer. The Italian, who lately turned the primary participant since 2011 to attain 5 targets in a single Tremendous Lig recreation, would absolutely relish a return to the venue of his iconic “Why All the time Me?” objective celebration. Ought to the transfer for Balotelli collapse, United is perhaps heartened to study that Adana Demirspor even have 35-year-old Loic Remy, previously of Chelsea and Queens Park Rangers, on their books as a backup possibility.

Andy Carroll (33, free agent)

The towering goal man remains to be unattached after leaving West Bromwich Albion on the finish of final season. He could also be a former Liverpool participant, however we won’t think about many Reds followers could be in opposition to the person whose £35m switch yielded 11 targets tipping up at Outdated Trafford.

Carroll is not the one former Liverpool striker who’s probably poised to return to United’s support, with the comparatively younger and spritely Sturridge nonetheless going. Sadly accidents stay a serious challenge for the ahead, who mustered simply 139 minutes of soccer in complete for Perth Glory final season, after which the A-League membership launched him.

Alvaro Negredo (36, Cadiz)

Absolutely Negredo, who scored 23 targets in his one season at Man Metropolis, could be keen to cross enemy strains for one final tilt on the Premier League?

It could be seven years since Bony final featured for Man Metropolis however the Ivory Coast striker remains to be knocking round. Having performed simply quarter-hour of aggressive soccer this yr, at Dutch membership NEC Nijmegen, he’ll actually be recent.

Emmanuel Adebayor (38, Semmasi FC)

The No. 34 goal-scorer within the historical past of the Premier League, Adebayor actually has the credentials with regards to top-flight expertise. A shock switch to United would see the Togolese ahead, at the moment enjoying his membership soccer in his homeland, full the set by enjoying for each Manchester golf equipment in addition to each north London sides.


The person as soon as heralded as the subsequent nice striker of his era did truly play within the Premier League if solely very, very briefly. The Brazilian scored one objective in two appearances for Chelsea whereas on mortgage from Corinthians in 2016. Scoff all you need, however a 50% goal-to-game ratio in English soccer is to not be sniffed at.

Charlie Austin (33, Brisbane Roar)

Austin hit his peak at Burnley and QPR, even discovering himself known as as much as the England squad at one stage. After being launched by QPR, the ahead moved to Australia‘s A-league final month. Would he flip his again on the Queensland solar for a spot on the Outdated Trafford bench?

Graziano Pelle (37, free agent)

Together with Austin, one other former Southampton striker remains to be on the market, poised and able to reply United’s name. After a number of years in China, former Italy worldwide Pelle returned residence with Parma final season however has been a free agent since his launch on the finish of the 2021-22 marketing campaign. He nonetheless has it, if by “it” you imply the flexibility to rating overhead kicks whereas fully unmarked.

With Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern all ticked off, it feels inevitable that the Cameroon ahead ought to simply go forward and add one other of European soccer’s largest and most prestigious golf equipment to his ridiculous CV.

Papiss Demba Cisse (37, Caykur Rizespor)

Cisse has come a good distance since scoring THAT surprise objective for Newcastle United in opposition to Chelsea in 2012. Reasonably than moments of spontaneous greatness, we’re in fact speaking in purely geographical phrases — because the Senegal striker has performed in China and Turkey since leaving the Premier League.

Saido Berahino (28, free agent)

The youngest possibility on the record, Berahino is barely 28, although it is protected to say that he hasn’t fairly delivered on the early promise he as soon as confirmed as a teen at West Brom. With common soccer more and more onerous to return by in his nomadic profession, the striker spent final season at Sheffield Wednesday however was launched after only one yr. The Burundi worldwide has, nevertheless, already scored at Outdated Trafford, in a well-known win for the Baggies again in 2013.

Steven Fletcher (35, Dundee United) and Jozy Altidore (32, Puebla, on mortgage from New England Revolution)

If it is pure numbers within the squad that United want then maybe an enormous double-swoop to reunite this Sunderland strike duo, who mixed for 9 Premier League targets between 2013 and ’15.

United might name on a Premier League winner in Okazaki, who lifted the trophy in opposition to all the chances with Leicester Metropolis again in 2015-16. You merely can not put a value on that type of profitable pedigree.

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