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Manchester United have joined the race for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as they look to hijack Chelsea’s move for the Barcelona striker, according to reports in Catalonia. Erik ten Hag is desperate for attacking reinforcements amid the prospect of Cristiano Ronaldo departing the club before the September 1 deadline and now the Red Devils have entered the hunt for the former Arsenal captain.
United used Christian Eriksen as a makeshift false-nine on their opening day of the season defeat to Brighton at Old Trafford before Ronaldo returned to the fold in the 4-0 embarrassment at Brentford.
Now Barcelona insider Gerard Romero is reporting United are set to battle Chelsea for Aubameyang.
The Gabon international only moved to Barcelona on transfer deadline day in January when he flew to Catalonia to seal his move without Arsenal’s approval.
In the meantime, the Gunners began to get their legal team to work on a mutual termination of his contract which was agreed just minutes before the deadline.
Now Aubameyang could leave Barca nearly eight months on following the arrival of Robert Lewandowski, who led the line in the club’s La Liga opener against Rayo Vallecano.
Barcelona boss Xavi wants to keep him at the club but it’s understood an offer of £25million could swing the balance.
United have explored several avenues in terms of recruiting a new centre-forward but to no avail and with Ronaldo still vying for a move – the club must prepare for the prospect of his departure.
The Red Devils previously bid £7.2m for experienced frontman Marko Arnautovic before eventually pulling the plug on the move.
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Other alternative targets such as Sasa Kalajdzic and Mauro Icardi have also been linked with moves to Old Trafford in the past week.
Alvaro Morata was also reportedly floated to the club via agents but he is now expected to stay at Atletico Madrid.
Matheus Cunha is another name that has been explored by United following consultation with his representatives.
Yet the Brazilian international is now expected to remain with Atletico for at least another season as he prepares to make a push for Brazil’s World Cup squad.
Anthony Martial is still expected to feature through the middle when he returns from injury.
The Frenchman made huge strides in pre-season, netting in three of United’s friendlies before picking up a muscle injury that has ruled him out of the club’s opening two Premier League fixtures.
United are also interested in signing Joao Felix from Atletico after meeting with his representatives in Madrid but the Portugal international is happy at the Wanda Metropolitano.
Next up for the Red Devils is Liverpool who visit Old Trafford on Monday. Jurgen Klopp’s side will be without Darwin Nunez, who is set to serve a three-match ban following his headbutt on Joachim Andersen.
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