Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may have found a replacement for Romelu Lukaku nearly a year after the Belgian striker left the Old Trafford club. Lazio striker Ciro Immobile is reportedly now on United’s radar despite securing Odion Ighalo for the remainder of the 2019/20 season and up until the end of January 2021.
Lukaku left the Old Trafford club last summer after a two-year stay at the club with Inter Milan signing the player for £76.5 million. Last summer though, Solskjaer decided not to pursue a replacement for the player, needing to delve into the transfer market, albeit a loan, for a striker after a long-term injury to Marcus Rashford.
Italian news source Calciomercato has reported that Solskjaer now sees Immobile as the perfect replacement for Lukaku and that the 30-year-old has been complimented by United’s reported interest, leading to a suggestion that he is open to a move to the Theatre of Dreams. Now, Immobile is not the first striker to be linked and won’t be the last.
This season, Immobile has played 33 times for Lazio, albeit before the coronavirus pandemic caused world football to be suspended, scoring 30 goals and seven assists in all competitions. Serie A is returning this month with the Coppa Italia resuming this week. Immobile has a contract at Lazio which expires in the summer of 2023.
In the absence of Lukaku this season, Anthony Martial has been the main striker at the club, also getting his former number nine shirt back. The Frenchman has scored 16 goals and five assists in 34 appearances this season, with a return to action on Friday with United travelling to face Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League.
Martial needed support after blowing both hot and cold this season and with Rashford’s injury, got that in Ighalo, who will play half of next season at the club too. Immobile is a good striker but is he the player that Solskjaer needs? He’s not young but has experience, which could help Martial, Rashford and Mason Greenwood, which would be a bonus.