Only Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool can better Manchester United‘s record of 354 chances created in the Premier League this season, yet the Red Devils rank seventh for goals scored.
When it comes to chance conversion, United are 18th of the 20 sides in England’s top flight with their average of 8.43 chances per goal better than only Middlesbrough (8.5) and Southampton (9.12).
Even top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimović, who has hit the net 15 times in the league this term, is not the most efficient of marksmen, requiring 7.33 shots for every goal scored, which pales in comparison to the likes of Diego Costa (4.59) and Alexis Sánchez (5.17).
We’ve identified eight strikers the Red Devils could target this summer in order to reverse their fortunes in front of goal.
With two years to run on his current Everton contract, Romelu Lukaku is reportedly refusing to consider a renewal with the Toffees, sparking speculation over a big-money summer move.
A return to Chelsea is thought to be the most likely outcome for the 23-year-old Belgian international, but, as a client of Mino Raiola — the agent responsible for taking Paul Pogba, Ibrahimović and Henrikh Mkhitaryan to Old Trafford last summer — a switch to United is a distinct possibility.
Powerful, fast and an expert finisher, with 100 goals in 195 games since leaving Stamford Bridge, there can be no doubts over Lukaku’s calibre.
Leading the Premier League scorers’ chart with 21 goals this term, the 6’3” striker has maintained an impressive average of needing just 3.57 shots for every goal scored, demonstrating the kind deadly touch in front of goal that United have lacked this term.
Rumours of Wayne Rooney potentially returning to Goodison Park on a free transfer this summer could pave the way for Lukaku to move in the other direction.
Estimated fee: £70million
It has been widely reported that United have identified Atlético Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann as their top target, and the Red Devils are willing to meet the Frenchman’s £87million contractual release clause.
It’s a hefty price tag but the 26-year-old, who came third in the running for last year’s Ballon d’Or, might just be worth it.
Though not an out-and-out striker, the former Real Sociedad man has bagged 79 goals in 147 games since joining Los Colchoneros in 2014, and raised his game to a whole new level to win the Golden Boot at last summer’s European Championships having scored six times for Les Bleus.
Viewed as the long-term heir to Rooney in United’s attack, Griezmann has the quality and star power to shine at Old Trafford. However, the latest reports suggest that José Mourinho is less confident about being able to secure the Mâcon-born star, and has begun to consider other options.
Estimated fee: £87million
9 & 8 – Andrea Belotti (9) and Ciro Immobile (8) have scored the most goals among Italian players in Serie A in this calendar year. Duet. pic.twitter.com/rRLYdWgx9j
— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) March 22, 2017
Currently leading the race to be crowned this season’s Capocannoniere – Serie A’s top scorer – with 22 goals, 23-year-old Torino striker Andrea Belotti is attracting interest from several of Europe’s biggest clubs.
An old-fashioned penalty area poacher who sparks into life whenever he gets the faintest sniff of goal, Belotti has demonstrated a ruthlessness when presented with a chance that has seen him find the net every 103 minutes on average this term.
A new contract with Il Toro, signed earlier in the season, contains a buyout clause of €100million for non-Italian clubs. Arsenal are thought to be among the player’s biggest admirers.
Estimated fee: £87million
Few strikers have developed as much over the last three seasons as Borussia Dortmnd’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Predominantly thought of as a winger during his early career, it wasn’t until his second season at Signal Iduna Park, following the departure of Robert Lewandowski to Bayern Munich, that the former AC Milan youngster received a regular run of games at centre-forward.
Since then, he hasn’t looked back, netting 110 goals in 176 games for BVB. And this term he has been more prolific than ever, topping the Bundesliga scoring chart with 23 goals in 23 games.
Wanted by Manchester City, La Liga remains the 27-year-old Gabonese forward’s preferred destination as he has openly admitted a desire to fulfil his dream of representing Real Madrid, the club his grandfather supported.
Estimated fee: £65million
Kylian Mbappé's season by numbers:
1671 mins played
64 mins per goal / assist
Wonderkid. ??? pic.twitter.com/3V72VsGIjo
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) March 22, 2017
Monaco’s 18-year-old striking sensation Kylian Mbappé is the hottest prospect in world football right now.
Since helping the France under-19 side to go one better than their senior counterparts at the European Championships last summer, the teenager has taken full advantage of the first-team opportunities he has been given by Leonardo Jardim at the Stade Louis II this season.
Two goals against Manchester City in the Champions League last-16 helped further augment his burgeoning reputation, while the Paris-born youngster’s record of 12 league goals and five assists means he is directly involved in his team scoring every 56.65 minutes.
The Independent reported earlier this month that Mbappé is on Mourinho’s radar, but the Red Devils will face stiff competition for his signature from a host of elite clubs including Real Madrid.
Estimated fee: £50million
Mourinho is also believed to be a big admirer of Tottenham’s Harry Kane, whose 19 Premier League goals this term have been scored from just 69 efforts, meaning he has required just 3.63 shots for every goal scored.
Out for the rest of the season, Kane will be unable to defend his Golden Boot crown, but his form over the last three seasons has shown that he is more than just a flash in the pan; the 23-year-old England striker is on course to develop into a genuinely world class centre-forward.
Any deal to snatch the former Leicester City and Millwall loanee away from White Hart Lane will be close to impossible to pull off, as Kane penned a new long-term contract last year and has reiterated that he is happy to remain part of Mauricio Pochettino’s exciting project.
Estimated fee: £85milliion+
Reports in Spain yesterday claim that Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette has verbally agreed to join Atlético Madrid, with Griezmann responsible for recommending his international colleague to Los Colchoneros.
However, as it stands, Atléti are banned from making any new signings this summer due to a transfer ban levied by FIFA for irregularities in their pursuit of young players, while the club have not agreed a fee with Lyon.
With 22 goals in Ligue 1 this season, the Lyon academy graduate finds the net once for every 3.36 shots he takes, and his blistering pace would be a welcome addition at Old Trafford. Any club hoping to hijack his move to La Liga still has time, but they will have to move quickly.
Estimated fee: £50million
After returning to Real Madrid from Juventus last summer, Spanish international striker Álvaro Morata has found regular playing time hard to come by, and the player has admitted that he may have to move away from the Bernabéu once more if his prospects do not improve soon.
Chelsea were linked with a move for the athletic and versatile forward before Madrid exercised the €30million buyback option to end his two-year Turin stay, and Antonio Conte’s Blues are believed to have retained their interest.
Though not as prolific as the other names on this list throughout his career, with just 37 goals from 127 senior appearances, the 24-year-old is hard working and unselfish, helping those around him to thrive. At Old Trafford, he could be the ideal man to aid the development of Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford.
Estimated fee: £40million