Jose Mourinho’s search for a back-up striker: The candidates

It appears that Jose Mourinho is intent on recruiting a back-up striker this summer at Manchester United. Many fans have, quite rightly, pointed out that Mourinho has the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard at his disposal already, basically a lot of quality, so consider the supposed need for a new striker to be unnecessary. It is what it is though, Mourinho has a vision of what he needs and wants and will not be swayed by it.

This article is therefore not based on what I think to be right, for mine, there are far more pressing areas on the pitch this need urgently addressing. It is more a hypothetical assessment based on Mourinho’s wishes.

This article is an incredibly difficult one to formulate, as frankly I do not consider there to be a plethora of outstanding options and it really is anyone’s guess who Mourinho is genuinely targeting. Before the comments section gets peppered with disapproving opinions, bear in mind the following strikers are not who I necessarily desire and are only listed according to Mourinho’s reported key criteria: A secondary option, who provides a physical presence to foil Romelu Lukaku.

Marko Arnautovic

If any of you can tolerate my tweets, you will know that I am vehemently against the potential signing of Arnautovic. I cannot fathom United’s interest in him. Half a good season, after nearly being out of the door at West Ham, and the asking price is reportedly £50 million for a 29-year-old. It is frankly ludicrous.

I acknowledge and applaud the way he transformed his fortunes at West Ham, but it is a different ball game altogether moving to, with all due respect to West Ham, a club with the pressures of United. Mourinho managed Arnautovic seven years ago and described him as having the ‘attitude of a child’. It just doesn’t add up, does it?

He would obviously get my backing, were he to join, as he would be wearing the badge of the club I love, but that does not stop me from not wanting this transfer to materialise.

Mario Mandzukic

Watchers of the World Cup will have seen that Mandzukic is a wily competitor who knows where the net is, netting crucially to dump out England. He is vastly experienced, having had success at clubs like Bayern Munich and Juventus. Any move here would boil down to whether he would be prepared to play second fiddle to Lukaku and any role at United would surely be in impact or rotation stages. The much lauded arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo at Juventus has potentially thrown Mandzukic’s future into jeopardy. It could turn out to be a shrewd buy.

Olivier Giroud

The Chelsea man has been condemned for his part in France’s golden generation winning the World Cup. Despite being a very good supplier for Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe, Giroud was mocked for not having a single shot on target all tournament. To me, that is immaterial, and his link up play was second to none. Giroud is well known on these shores for his aerial ability, strength and knack of scoring big goals. Giroud is brilliant in both boxes and well versed in playing peripheral roles, having done so at both Arsenal and Chelsea.

Maurizio Sarri’s arrival at Stamford Bridge has triggered talk of a reunion with Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain, who combined brilliantly in their times at Napoli. That would clearly leave Giroud’s future up in the air and maybe put him on the market. There are few better target men out there and he could give Mourinho food for thought.

Whether United ultimately sign a striker remains to be seen. While we are on the subject, The Independent’s Miguel Delaney, whose finger is invariably on the pulse of United talk, has compiled a stunning report linking United to Robert Lewandowski:

Like I say, I respect Delaney as a journalist, however Lewandowski? A) His stock is not as high as one might expect after a dire World Cup showing for Poland. B) He reported he wants a new challenge, how often has United’s name been touted as a potential destination with the view to a more lucrative contract? C) The extortionate amounts needed to secure said signature. D) He is by no means a back-up striker and Lukaku, for me, is United’s undisputed main man.

I have been wrong countless times before, but this seems a total non starter.

So, we want to know… Do you think United need a back-up striker and, if so, who would you want to see playing reserve to Rom?

Leave us your suggestions in the comments.

More Stories José Mourinho Juventus Manchester United Mario Mandzukic Marko Arnautovic Olivier Giroud Robert Lewandowski Romelu Lukaku West Ham