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Transfer Rater: Talisca to Manchester United

Football Whispers
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Morata, Lukaku, Belotti atop list of potential striker targets for Man United

Stewart Robson breaks down why United rumours are cooling around Griezmann, and explains which striker he'd sign.

Following reports that Manchester United are no longer pursuing Antoine Griezmann, instead making it a priority to sign a No. 9 to replace the injured Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Jose Mourinho has a large group of quality players at this position to choose from.

Alvaro Morata

Morata might well be the best man for the job. Still in the early days of his career, just 24, he would certainly provide value for money in terms of the years of his career he could go on to spend at Old Trafford.

Morata, born in Madrid, was given his first-team debut at Real by Mourinho in 2010, and has since claimed he will be forever grateful to the manager for choosing him.

Though Real Madrid thrived this season, Morata has been left on the sidelines somewhat, only starting 14 games in the league. Having been brought back from his loan at Juventus, where he enjoyed more playing time, it's likely been frustrating for the striker.

Leaving his boyhood club might be a struggle for him, but for the sake of his career, playing for a manager who gave him his first taste of professional football when still a teenager, United might make the most sense to him.

Alvaro Morata scored twice as Real Madrid survived at Leganes.
Alvaro Morata was given his first-team debut at Real Madrid by Jose Mourinho in 2010.

Romelu Lukaku

Another striker linked to United who has also already played for Mourinho is Lukaku. The Everton man has averaged more than 20 goals a season in the five campaigns he's spent away from Chelsea, with Mourinho previously deeming him surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge.

Lukaku has previously claimed he would be happy to play for Mourinho again and certainly is looking for a way out of Everton to compete in the Champions League. United would be able to offer him this now, thanks to their Europa League triumph.

In signing him, the United manager might well have to admit he made a mistake all those years ago, but would also add a player who can guarantee him goals in the Premier League. Of all the players linked to the club, Lukaku might be the easiest deal to conclude, with the player having already proven himself in this league and wanting to change clubs.

Andrea Belotti

Like Griezmann, Belotti also has a release clause of €85 million, but United are unlikely to want to pay that. The former came third in the last Ballon d'Or behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, and the latter has only had one good season, meaning United will be looking for some sort of parity when it comes to the transfer fee.

Andrea Belotti
Andrea Belotti scored 27 goals in Serie A for middling Torino but has a hefty release clause of €85 million.

For Belotti, United would be paying, in part, for his potential. Before last season, Belotti had never managed more than 12 goals a season and therefore Torino cannot justify demanding the release clause for him. If they do, United will look elsewhere, but with reports from Italy suggesting an offer in the region of €60 million from AC Milan has already been rejected, Torino are clearly seeking a huge sum for the striker who has scored 28 goals in 38 appearances over all competitions.

Andre Silva

Silva is likely a player Mourinho knows plenty about, as the youngster was one of the highest scorers in Portugal's Primeira Liga last season and also scored his first international goal for Portugal.. The 21-year-old now has five in six for his country.

Silva is another player on Jorge Mendes' books, just like Mourinho, so there are plenty of connections between the two.

Last season was Silva's first in Porto's first-team and he managed 21 goals, which is a decent return. Porto's financial troubles put pressure on them to sell him, too, although a whole host of Premier League clubs are reportedly interested in him.

Kylian Mbappe

The remaining strikers on Mourinho's potential list might be more difficult for United to get their hands on.

Mbappe is probably the most sought-after striker in the world at the moment. At just 18-years-old, he managed 26 goals last season, including six in the Champions League against the likes of Juventus, Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund.

Kylian Mbappe is one of the sport's most promising stars but he is unlikely to leave Monaco just yet.

Reports from Spain claim the player isn't interested in joining rivals Manchester City, though the media in France suggest the player is wary of playing for Mourinho. Real Madrid is arguably his most likely destination, if he in fact is to make the decision to leave Monaco this summer.

Harry Kane

Kane is another player who would be brilliant for United, but the time for his move to Old Trafford would have been a few seasons ago, when people were suggesting he was a one-season wonder. Having won the Golden Boot two seasons running at his boyhood club, Tottenham Hotspur, there's little chance anyone could persuade him to leave now.

Kane will want to win silverware with Spurs and won't be looking to leave when they appear to be on the cusp of doing great things. The fans wouldn't forgive the club for allowing Kane to leave this summer, either -- whatever price United offered for him.

Though it's undeniable that United need a striker this summer, that doesn't negate the need for bringing in a world-class player like Griezmann, which makes reports from United sources this morning surprising. What better introduction to life at United could these aforementioned strikers have than playing with Griezmann behind them.

Scott is one of ESPN FC's Manchester United bloggers. Follow him on Twitter: @R_o_M.

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