Manchester United have an opportunity to sign young striker Danny Loader as a free agent from tomorrow (July 1).

Sky Sports reported in November 2019 that United were weighing up a January bid, reporting: “Manchester United are one of several Premier League clubs considering a bid for Reading’s talented young striker Danny Loader.”

Loader’s contract at Reading has now run down, with Get Reading reporting he will leave after turning down the offer of an extension.

(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Who is Loader?

Loader was part of England’s under-17 World Cup winning team, along with Angel Gomes and Jadon Sancho.

But like many players in that team, Loader has struggled to make an impact at club level.

He has only two first team goals for Reading, although was given just one Championship start this season.

For the under-23s he showed his continued promise this season with four goals in four matches.

Is a deal possible?

Loader is still just 19, and if United signed him, there would be a compensation fee to pay via a tribunal to Reading.

 

This means that while he is technically available ‘on a free’, there would still be some cost due to be paid to his former club, likely around £1 to 3 million.

United’s ‘interest’ may simply have been agent talk earlier this year, after his deadline day switch to Wolves fell through.

But if the club are really interested, there is an opportunity to now snap him up on the cheap.

(Photo by Matthew Peters/Man Utd via Getty Images)

United have good options up front at present, but a lack of depth. There is no outstanding young striker following Mason Greenwood up from the under-23s any time soon.

It is possible United could look to bring Loader in, put him in the under-23s for a year, and see if he can kick on and make an impact in cup competitions. He already has one FA Cup goal to his name.

You figure at this stage if United are going to sign an extra striker this summer, it will be a player in this mould. A young forward who will not threaten to immediately displace Anthony Martial, and one who can learn under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and later succeed Odion Ighalo as back-up.

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