While the Erling Haaland transfer trail blows hot and cold, Manchester United have been linked with another striker this week.
That is Luka Jovic, the powerful Serbian who has not had a fair crack at Real Madrid so far this season.
Real swooped for Jovic in the summer for £62 million, and have handed him only three La Liga starts. He has a further seven games from the bench and has scored once.
What’s the situation?
A day later it was claimed by Bleacher Report that Manchester United are showing an interest and have asked to be kept updated.
Real would unlikely include an option to buy at the end of any loan, it would be rare of them to do so. Arsenal don’t have one for Dani Ceballos for instance.
So United would be making a move with no guarantee there would be anything to show for it once a deal expires.
Would he be a good signing?
Let’s say a deal did materialise, Jovic would arrive at United with the stench of failure on him from his Madrid spell.
That might be unfair given the lack of league starts he has been given, but it is the reality of it. He would need to hit the ground running.
Back at the end of last season, Jovic was a player we wanted United to sign.
His goalscoring record at Eintracht Frankfurt last season was really strong. In total he netted 27 goals, including 10 in the Europa League.
That makes his failure so far at Real all the more puzzling.
He is still only 21, and the pressures of the Bernabeu aren’t for everyone. Old Trafford would be similar, but if Jovic has the confidence to take on the challenge at United, it might be worth a gamble.
What did Solskjaer say?
Erling Haaland is United’s top striker target but there is competition and he’s not our player yet.
Jovic is a powerful striker in the same mould and could become an option. The loan aspect works too.
Solskjaer has hinted loan deals could be on United’s radar.
He told The Telegraph: “Not many clubs want to sell players that they would otherwise want to keep in January. Maybe one or two could be a loan deal but that is not a big money thing, it is just to help the team. But we are getting players back and we are looking at what can be available for us.”
United’s ace in the pack
It would be better to look at a loan move for Jovic, which might have a future, than an ageing Mario Mandzukic – if the loan route is one United are going down.
While we said Real might not prefer to put an ‘option to buy’ on Jovic’s loan, United could twist their arm.
This is due to the Spanish giants’ long standing interest in Paul Pogba, who United fans are running out of patience with.
United could insist on a permanent option as part of any transaction to send Pogba to the Bernabeu. You’d think Real would meet this demand if it meant landing the Frenchman.
Jovic would be a risk. And he shouldn’t be our first choice. But he is an intriguing possibility who could still be an elite player despite his disappointing start to life in Spain.
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