While it is only February, now is the time for Manchester United to pick up planning for the summer transfer window.

Striker is one of the areas United will be considering strengthening, with Anthony Martial taking a backwards step and Edinson Cavani only a stop-gap solution at 34.

One player who is now reportedly on United’s radar is Portuguese striker Andre Silva.

1. FSV Mainz 05 v Eintracht Frankfurt - Bundesliga
(Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

Silva is interesting United, report German outlet Fussball News, after an impressive season at Eintracht Frankfurt.

This season Silva has scored 19 goals in 22 competitions, also providing five assists. It’s an impressive return.

Silva has had a very mixed career so far

Silva burst once the scene for Porto as a youngster, netting 21 goals in the 2016/17 season. This is a tally he has not yet beaten, although this year he is finally on course to do so.

This prolific form saw him linked to United at the time. Calciomercato reported Jose Mourinho scouted him heavily. This was unsurprising considering Silva is a Gestifute client.

He ended up moving to AC Milan, which turned out to be a bad decision. Milan were going through a tough spell and Silva did not adapt well to Serie A. While he scored 10 goals in his debut season, his league form saw him score just two times in 24 games.

Milan have pretty much been trying to get rid of him ever since and reclaim the money on the £33.6 million they paid for him.

He had a loan at Sevilla where he scored 11 times and then Eintracht Frankfurt (16 goals), who saw enough of him to buy him permanently for a fee described by AC Milan Info as ‘ridiculously low’, around £8 million.

What makes Silva an attractive option

Silva deserves credit mentally for recovering from his poor spell at Milan and finding a place to succeed. It wasn’t easy for him being labelled a big money flop at such an early age, a year after being touted as a wonderkid.

He is still only 25 and has amassed plenty of experience, at international level too.

 

Silva has scored 16 international goals for Portugal where he has the benefit of playing alongside Bruno Fernandes. This is a link up which could help both players if he signed for United.

His quality in the air could be utilised well by United. Five of his goals this season have been headers.

Asked about his own idol, Silva told Bundesliga.com: “My big idol? It was Cristiano [Ronaldo] because in my time he was already at [Manchester] United, and he was the star in Portugal.”

A sensibly priced option, still a gamble

If United wanted to sign Erling Haaland this summer he will cost in excess of his £66 million release clause which only comes into effect in 2022. Clubs are likely looking at £80 million plus.

Silva presents a more sensibly priced alternative. He would cost more likely in the £30-40 million price range, considering the low fee Frankfurt paid last summer.

This would allow United to spend more money on other areas, namely central defence and possibly bringing in another winger.

Portugal v Ukraine - UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifier
(Photo by Filipe Amorim/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

There are a couple of red flags of course. Firstly that Silva flopped at Milan. How will he cope at a big club again, and what if it doesn’t start well?

Frankfurt’s two other top strikers in recent times, Luka Jovic and Sebastien Haller, have also found it difficult after leaving the club.

It is also worth noting that six of Silva’s 18 Bundesliga goals have been penalties. He wouldn’t get those at United, with Fernandes taking them.

Silva is an intriguing option though. He can score with both feet, and his head, and he is on course to score more Bundesliga goals in a single season than any Frankfurt player ever. It’s only mid-February and he has 22 for the season. United would be acting sensibly by taking a look at this early stage.

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