Warning issued in Manchester United’s pursuit of Italian striker


Manchester United have been looking to strengthen their attacking line this summer with the earlier pursuit of Antione Griezmann which was scrapped after Atletico Madrid’s transfer ban was upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Real Madrid forward Alvaro Morata seems to be the player that United will sign, but they have also expressed an interest in Torino striker Andrea Belotti. United need to replace Zlatan Ibrahimovic a player they released at the end of the season, his contract is set to expire at the end of the month. The veteran Swedish striker suffered a season-ending knee injury in April which seems to have scuppered a new deal as he may not play football again in 2017. There could be a chance he a signed by the Old Trafford club again, but there are currently no plans for that right now.

United seem to have their work cut out of Belotti is a player they want to sign as he has an £87 million release clause, which is only in place for foreign clubs, so he could move to another Italian club for a much smaller fee if he did choose to leave Torino. Belotti scored in Italy’s 5-0 hammering of Liechtenstein on Sunday, showing his class on the international stage, which he had shown throughout the season for his club. Torino president Urbano Cairo will not let his star man leave the club for anything less than his release clause, which stands at £87 million, a massive fee for a player who has only played in the Serie A, but that seems to be the era we live in – setting high prices for players deemed talented with clubs making a killing in bringing players through their ranks. Cairo, speaking to Italian broadcaster Radio 24, reported by The Mirror, said:

“I care about Belotti and I’m keeping hold of him. He has a contract with Torino until 2021. I would only sell him for €100m, but even then he can refuse. The most important thing is what he wants, regardless of the release clause, and I believe he wants to stay. We are trying to build the best possible team at Torino. Belotti is busy on international duty [with Italy] at the moment and then he is getting married on Thursday — he invited me.”

The Mirror also have a report suggesting that United have started to concentrate on getting the deal for Alvaro Morata across the line with the reason being that Belotti’s release clause is excessive. As it stands, United placed a £52 million bid for Morata, which was rejected with a counter offer of more than £70 million demanded with United testing the water with a £60 million fee for the player. Reports on Twitter, which are probably largely unreliable have suggested a fee could be accepted, but without any credible reports of this, I would advise that they should not be believed. There are so many unreliable accounts on Twitter who seem to get a kick out of giving incorrect information at this time of year, leading people down the garden path for months on end, which is just plain boring.

If United were interested in both Morata and Belotti and both arrived at the club this summer, it would suggest that Jose Mourinho does not trust both Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford, let alone Wayne Rooney who to be honest has gone off the boil in recent seasons and should leave the club or face his career being even further away from the level it could be. It is clear the former England captain does not have a future at United, otherwise Mourinho would have played him for the majority of the season, which was not the case despite the player being fit for much of the season. Martial currently plays on the left-wing with Rashford also having played as a wide player, which is not his favoured position. Both Morata and Belotti could suggest Rashford is surplus to requirements, so based on that alone, I would only expect one of the due to arrive this summer.

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