Manchester United transfer news: Wayne Rooney set to play as lone striker this season with £22m move for Pedro in the pipeline

Pedro has a £22m release clause in his contract and is wanted to play on the right flank for Van Gaal's United side

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The Independent Online

Louis van Gaal is happy to let Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney lead the attack this season should he fail to sign a world class striker to replace Robin van Persie.

United look short on options in attack this summer having sold Van Persie to Fenerbahce this month as well as decide against signing Radamel Falcao permanently following his dismal loan spell last season.

Rooney remains the main option to play in the striker role among the current squad, with James Wilson still largely inexperienced and Javier Hernandez out of favour under Val Gaal. It was expected that Hernandez would leave Old Trafford this season, but a broken collarbone and the lack of other options looks set to see the Mexican striker remain at the club for the time being.


It led to reports that United were interested in both Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani and Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich, but United are not close to landing either player and the likelihood is that Rooney will lead the line this season.

Following United’s 1-0 pre-season victory over Club America last week in the opening game of their pre-season tour, Van Gaal looks set to deploy a 4-3-3 formation this term after huge uncertainty of his favoured line-up in his debut year in Manchester.

Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney

United have a number of options on the left side of a front-three given that summer signing Memphis Depay will contest the position with club record signing Angel Di Maria and England international Ashley Young, but the right side is proving to be a touch more problematic.

Juan Mata is capable of playing on the right side but he has shown his best for United when deployed through the middle, while youngsters Adnan Januzaj and Andreas Pereira are yet to convince Van Gaal that they are the solution to the right flank. That has led United to Barcelona forward Pedro, who is available for £22m due to a release clause and is more than at home on the right as well as being able to play through the middle.

Chelsea have been linked with a move for Pedro, although manager Jose Mourinho appeared to play down the prospect of a move for the Spaniard over the weekend, and it appears it will either be a move for Pedro or nothing in United’s hunt for an attacking player this summer.

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