OLIVIER GIROUD is a shock transfer target for Manchester United, according to reports.
Man Utd are on the look out for more firepower in the January transfer window, but have a specific criteria of player they are after in both a sporting and financial sense.
And with the club weighing up a deal for Joao Felix, Giroud has emerged as an alternative option for Erik ten Hag.
According to The Times, the fitness struggles of Anthony Martial and the loss of Cristiano Ronaldo – who arrived in Saudi Arabia for his Al Nassr transfer last night – have led them to consider the ex-Chelsea and Arsenal ace.
However, the 36-year-old is expecting to be offered a new deal at AC Milan when his current deal expires at the end of the season.
On the club's striker issues, Ten Hag said: "I think we have a good team when all the players are available.
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"But with many games coming up, I think there is a need.
"But you need one who can have an impact, otherwise you are just burning money and you don’t strengthen the squad and it doesn’t help you."
Utd have scored 24 league goals this season, a figure which sees them rank 10th in the Premier League for the metric.
A rejuvenated Marcus Rashford has shouldered the majority of the burden this season with 11 goals in all competitions.
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However, Martial, who plays through the middle, has started just four times in the league and six times overall.
United are in desperate need of a more robust forward who fits the criteria the club are searching for.
After missing out on a transfer for Cody Gakpo, Atletico Madrid's Felix appears to be the main target, but the £18.5m cost of a loan deal is a stumbling block.
This means Giroud, who scored four goals at the World Cup, could be in line for a surprise transfer.
In addition, Ten Hag has revealed he has "reservations" about recalling in-form winger Amad Diallo from his loan at Sunderland.
The 20-year-old has scored six goals in 20 games for the Black Cats, and despite his squad's issues Ten Hag wants Diallo to continue his progress.
He said: "We consider everything but I have a little bit of reservation about that because I don’t want to stop the process.
"He has made really good progress there so I’m happy with that.
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"But young players need experiences and when we decide for him to come back, he has to be a player who can compete for the starting XI or minimum to come on for a lot of games and make an impact."
Ten Hag has welcomed Jadon Sancho back to United ahead of the clash against Bournemouth tonight, but he remains some way off selection consideration.
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