West Ham stunned as Man Utd move to hijack deal for 116-goal striker as Ratcliffe also eyes Real Madrid icon

Stuttgart striker Serhou Guirassy is a target for Manchester United

Serhou Guirassy is a target for Manchester United

Manchester United now appear favourites to sign Stuttgart striker Serhou Guirassy with Sir Jim Ratcliffe reportedly seriously considering a move to snap up the prolific frontman.

The Red Devils went into their mini January break by holding on to claim a 2-2 draw against Tottenham at Old Trafford. And while Manchester United took the lead twice in the game, Tottenham were good value for the point and could have snatched all three had they taken their chances.

Instead, the draw leaves United with plenty of work to do over the second half of the season as they look to haul themselves back up the Premier League table.

Statistics before Sunday’s game showed United to be the least efficient finishers in the Premier League, having spurned the most big chances.

And while Erik ten Hag was happy with their goals they scored on Sunday, they still remain comfortably the lowest scorers in the top half of the table, with only three teams in the whole Premier League (Crystal Palace, Sheffield United and Burnley) who have scored less than their tally of 24 over the course of the season so far.

As a result, it is easy to see why Ten Hag is desperate to bolster his ranks with a new No 9 to provide cover and competition for Rasmus Hojlund.

While the young Dane is finally starting to hit the goal trail – he scored a well-taken goal against Spurs – Ten Hag knows he needs another option up front.

And after ruling out a move for Timo Werner, who instead signed for Tottenham and made his debut at Old Trafford on Sunday, United are now considering other options to bring in.

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Man Utd ready to hijack Serhou Guirassy swoop

As a result, Football Insider now reports that United are getting serious in their plans to beat West Ham to the signing of Guirassy.

The 27-year-old striker has been in red-hot form this season, scoring 19 times in 16 games for Stuttgart in the Bundesliga.

That form has understandably alerted several sides to the player – and he has become instantly more attractive to several of them in light of a bargain €17.5m (£15m) exit clause in his deal.

With the Hammers desperate to bring Guirassy – who has 116 career goals – in, it’s now reported that they face serious competition from United and AC Milan in the hunt for his signature.

West Ham need attacking reinforcements after injuries to Jarrod Bowen, Michail Antonio and Lucas Paqueta in recent weeks left David Moyes woefully short of options.

And while they had earmarked Guinea striker Guirassy as an instant fix, it now seems they are set to miss out if the report proves accurate and amid claims Sir Jim Ratcliffe wants the player as his first Man Utd signing.

Ten Hag, for his part, was quite happy with the point against Tottenham and, while he made clear the growth of Marcus Rashford and Hojlund, he is well aware of the need for another option.

“I am quite disappointed, when you go ahead twice and then concede two soft goals it is a bit frustrating, but you have to take it as it is,” he told BBC Match of the Day.

On Rashford and Hojlund, he added: “They are growing together so keep going with the progress. He also scored a very good goal, so I’m pleased with that.”

Man Utd also eye Karim Benzema

In addition to a move for Guirassy, United are also being strongly linked with a move for Karim Benzema, whose future with Al-Ittihad suddenly appears to be up in the air.

The iconic former Real Madrid striker signed for the Saudi side over the summer and has bagged 11 goals and five assists since the move.

However, all is not plain sailing for the 36-year-old veteran, who recent failed to turn up for training and is now expected to be left out of the club’s training camp in Dubai.

Now according to Marca, United are looking into the possibility of signing Benzema on a six-month deal.

And journalist Javier Parra Pena, Ten Hag wants to bring in the veteran frontman and has the funds to do so after getting the likes of Donny van de Beek and Jadon Sancho off their wage bill.

Whether Al-Ittihad are willing to let the striker leave, though, remains in some doubt, but it’s claimed United are at least prepared to ask the question.

The potential move has also been given the green light by former United striker Louis Saha, who states: “Benzema would change United’s attack, and that’s exactly what they need.

“He would score goals and ensure better team play. For now, it’s just a dream, but Karim is still very professional.”

Benzema has scored 354 career goals and won the 2022 Ballon d’Or.

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