Man Utd may be using Karim Benzema as a smokescreen for a different transfer instead | Football | Sport

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Man Utd may be using Karim Benzema as a smokescreen for a different transfer instead | Football | Sport

Manchester United are being linked with a surprise January swoop for Al-Ittihad striker Karim Benzema to replace long-term absentee Anthony Martial. However, the Ballon d’Or winner could be a smokescreen for a more likely signing as Erik ten Hag searches for reinforcements before the winter deadline.

According to Marca, United are in talks with Benzema’s camp over a potential switch to Old Trafford in the coming week.

The 36-year-old is said to be unhappy in Saudi Arabia despite leaving Real Madrid for the Middle East last summer.

And the Red Devils have reportedly joined Arsenal and Lyon in the battle for his signature on a short-term loan deal.

However, United have been heavily linked with another striker who could be edging closer toward a move in the background of the noise surrounding Benzema’s future.

Bayern Munich’s Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting has been touted among Ten Hag’s latest batch of emergency striker targets, having been on the Dutchman’s radar before Wout Weghorst’s arrival last January.

TEAMtalk claim that United are now preparing an imminent approach to sign the 34-year-old in the latter stages of the transfer window.

Choupo-Moting has previous experience in the Premier League, playing for Stoke City when the Potters suffered relegation in the 2017/18 season.

The Cameroon international registered five goals and five assists in 32 appearances for Stoke and has since represented European heavyweights Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern.

He notched nine goals and three assists in 51 games for PSG and currently has 38 goals and 10 assists to his name in 109 appearances for the Bundesliga giants.

Martial is expected to miss 10 weeks as he recovers from his groin surgery, ruling him out until early April.

The Frenchman hasn’t offered Rasmus Hojlund much competition this season owing to his inconsistent availability. However, Ten Hag may not want the 20-year-old to be his only option in the coming months.

United crashed out of the Carabao Cup in the fourth round and finished rock bottom of their Champions League group during a disastrous first half of the campaign.

The Red Devils also need a miracle to be considered Premier League title contenders, leaving a top-four spot and the FA Cup as the only aims left to play for.

Ten Hag will be determined to end his second season at the helm on a high, and another striker would help him achieve that.

The clock is ticking, though, and Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS may opt for short-term pain before going all in on recruitment plans in the summer.

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