Manchester United appear to be moving fast in the January transfer window and have already lodged a bid for AC Milan forward M’Baye Niang, according to reports in Italy.
Reports breaking from Italian daily Il Giornale, suggest the Red Devils have made an offer for the 21-year-old as they look to bolster their squad ahead of a crucial second part of the season.
M’Baye Niang is under contract until 2019 so the Italians will be in no desperate need to sell their man, Milan are said to want to keep their prized asset and were hoping he would sign a new contract but reports from Italy said talks over an extension has buffered, despite the Frenchman reportedly willing to renew.
Reports suggest Milan’s takeover by Chinese investors has complicated the renewal, which has left Jose Mourinho with fresh hope for his signature.
Since his arrival to Serie A, he has gone on to play 64 league games for the Italians scoring eight goals, although he has represented France at youth level, he is yet to make his first-team appearance.
Although he can play the 9 role, he has been deployed on the left-hand side of a 4-3-3 more often which is where his long-term future seems to lay. The Milan attacker often uses his pace to stretch defences and get in behind backlines, an attribute that will attract Jose Mourinho due to his positive style of play.
United are now using a similar formation in the Premier League, and may have an eye on M’Baye Niang for the left-hand side of the front free for rotation purposes. Memphis Depay looks like he could be on the way out, so perhaps Niang is earmarked as a replacement? It’s hard to say which player would be better for United, both are still far from the finished article and I find it hard to beleive that if Mourinho is not willing to give Memphis time, that he would want a player like Niang. Jose does still have options on the left with Mkhitaryan, Lingard, Mata, Rashford and Martial all able to play there.
Although Niang has been playing at the top level for several years, he is still very raw in many aspects, he is yet to master his issues in front of goal and lacks that clinical edge and this shows with the fact he has scored just 0.26 goals per 90 minutes thus far this season. But, he is still young and has shown glimpses of his goal-scoring pedigree in him, which will be another bonus for on-looking potential suitors.
The forward was a target for Everton and Arsenal when he was still playing for Caen, despite turning down England for Italy four years ago, he firmly believes his long-term future is in England as it suits his style of play.
The Red Devils would have a battle on their hands from clubs around Europe if he was made available, with earlier reports suggesting Arsenal, Monaco and Borussia Dortmund are also monitoring his availability closely.