Manchester United shirt numbers available for Wout Weghorst as No.7 ‘promised to another target’.
Manchester United are looking to sign a new striker in the January transfer window, with Erik ten Hag keen to add attacking reinforcements to his squad.
With Cristiano Ronaldo having left the club by mutual consent in November, the Reds only have one recognised striker in Anthony Martial. The Frenchman has been impressive for United this term – registering five goals in 12 matches – but he has already missed 15 matches through injury this season.
The Reds have performed well in recent months and currently sit fourth in the Premier League table – with a game in hand over third-placed Newcastle United. Ten Hag‘s men are also still in Carabao Cup, FA Cup and Europa League action, albeit with a play-off tie against the Catalan giants to come in February.
Marcus Rashford is enjoying a spectacular individual campaign, but he is operating from the left-wing and the club still believe that they need to recruit a striker in this month’s transfer window in order to provide attacking support. The Reds are looking at the loan market if they are to sign a frontman with Wout Weghorst joining until the end of the season from Burnley one option being looked at.
The Manchester Evening News has revealed that Erik ten Hag’s side are advancing with a potential loan deal for the 30-year-old forward during the winter window, while the player celebrated scoring for Besiktas on Saturday by waving ‘goodbye’ to fans. It is understood that Besiktas have an option to buy Weghorst for €10million (£8.82m) at the end of the season, meaning any potential move for the Claret would need the club’s approval in order to break the current agreement.
Weghorst has worn several numbers throughout his career, starting out as 28 for FC Emmen before becoming their No.9. He was handed number 19 upon his arrival at Heracles before reclaiming number 9 at AZ Alkmaar, Wolfsburg and Burnley.
The Netherlands international has worn No.10 so far this season for Besiktas, while being handed 14 and 19 for his country.
Another player that has been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford is Atletico Madrid star Joao Felix. The Portuguese forward is reportedly open to leaving the La Liga club due to his strained relationship with manager Diego Simeone. Despite being into his fourth season with Atletico, having joined the Spanish club from Benfica in a deal worth more than £100m in 2019, he looks certain to leave at some point this year.
Felix has scored just 34 times in 130 appearances for Atletico, including five this season. He is, however, still highly regarded at Old Trafford, and is thought to be one of several players the club are monitoring this month. According to reports coming out of Portugal, United are ‘ready to hand’ Felix the iconic number 7 shirt if he makes the move to Old Trafford, with A Bola claiming that the club’s CEO – Richard Arnold – has told the player that the jersey is ‘ready for him’.
Ten Hag is almost certain to bring in a striker at some point this month, even if he does miss out on Weghorst and Felix. When they do arrive, they will have to decide whether or not they want the vacant number 7. Realistically, the only available options for an incoming attacker would be: 7, 13, 15, 16, 24, 26, 27 or 30.
At United, Anthony Martial is currently No.9, Marcus Rashford No.10, Raphael Varane No.19 and Facundo Pellistri currently has the No.28. It means none of the numbers Weghorst has previously worn during his playing career are available for him at Old Trafford.
But Felix would be free to claim the No.7 for the next few months should he make the move to Old Trafford. The Portuguese currently wears the same number for Atletico, but with the Spanish club demanding a hefty loan fee, the likelihood of that move appears to be decreasing daily.