STRIKING GOLD Man Utd join Timo Werner transfer hunt with Liverpool and eye Lyon striker Moussa Dembele with Ighalo loan ending

The Red Devils took Odion Ighalo as a quick-fix loanee for the second half of the season when Marcus Rashford fractured his back.

STRIKING GOLD Man Utd join Timo Werner transfer hunt with Liverpool and eye Lyon striker Moussa Dembele with Ighalo loan ending

Manchester United are eyeing moves for both Timo Werner and Moussa Dembele

But the Nigerian’s deal at Old Trafford expires on May 31 and with Shanghai Shenhua unwilling to permit an extension, he is set to return to the Chinese Super League team in time for their season starting.

And while Ighalo certainly filled a hole during his brief stint at Old Trafford, scoring four goals in eight appearances, he was never deemed a long-term solution up front.

That is why Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is looking at buying a younger, explosive striker in the summer.

According to Goal, two of those on his wish list are Werner and Dembele.

At 24 and 23 respectively, they have enough experience to come straight into the starting XI but should have their best years ahead of them.

Werner has a release clause of around £51million which expires on June 15 but United face a near-impossible task of persuading the German to join them rather than runaway league leaders Liverpool.

Reports stated Jurgen Klopp held a “virtual meeting” with the forward – who has scored 30 in 38 this season – over Easter in an attempt to convince him to move to Merseyside.

Werner likes the idea of moving to Liverpool and was full of praise for the club and the manager, compatriot Jurgen Klopp.

He labelled the Kop side as the “best team in the world” and added he would be a “good fit” at Anfield.

And reports this weekend also suggested Liverpool are closing in on a deal for the Germany international.

Dembele, meanwhile, has been a long-term target for the Red Devils, even since his Fulham days before Marcus Rashford burst on to the scene and shelved their plans to sign the Frenchman.

After two years and 51 goals with Celtic, he moved to Lyon in 2018 where he has continued to bang them in, racking up 42 strikes in 88 appearances.

That has attracted the attention of plenty of potential suitors, especially Chelsea and United.

As revealed by SunSport, the Red Devils are plotting a £60m bid.

They will be buoyed by reports stating the France Under-21 international would prefer a move to Old Trafford over one to Stamford Bridge as well as Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas’ admission his side may be forced to sell some of their key players this summer.

He said: “I am going to do everything to keep the players.

“But players who are programmed to play in Europe could want to go elsewhere because we don’t have European football.”

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