Manchester United have launched a €100m (£70m) transfer bid for Bayern Munich striker Thomas Muller in a bid to replace Robin van Persie, it has been reported.
United are known to be in the market for a striker after allowing Van Persie to join Turkish side Galatasaray earlier this month. Initial reports suggested an audacious move for either Edinson Cavani of Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski, but Muller has been on manager Louis van Gaal’s radar since he arrived at Old Trafford last year.
Muller’s relationship with Van Gaal dates back to when the Dutch manager gave Muller his debut at the Allianz Arena, but Bayern’s reluctance to sell the 25-year-old in the same summer as allowing Bastian Schweinsteiger to join United will mean the Premier League club need to pay through the roof if they want to sign Muller before September.
However, according to German newspaper Bild, United have already made a £70m offer for the World Cup winner, with Van Gaal looking to capitalise on the poor relationship between Muller and Bayern head coach Pep Guardiola.
The report adds that Muller is unhappy with his current status in the Bayern first team, having been substituted regularly under Guardiola’s tenure which has seen him complete the 90 minutes in just 29 matches in the last two years.
Muller’s agent, Ludwig Kögl, refrained himself from getting involved in any transfer speculation when asked about Muller’s future.
Kögl said: “I do not want to participate. Thomas plays for Bayern and has a contract with Bayern.”
His comments come after Bayern’s chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge stressed that Schweinsteiger would be the one and only player sold to United this summer.
“I can totally reassure all the fans we will issue no further players more towards Manchester United,” Rummenigge stated following Schweinsteiger’s departure.
The news will excite United fans who are concerned with the lack of fire power that the club can call upon following Van Persie’s exit and United’s decision not to sign Radamel Falcao on a permanent deal following his unsuccessful loan spell last season.
Van Persie’s departure leaves captain Wayne Rooney as the club’s lead striker, having returned his lowest haul last season of 14 goals since joining the club. The only other options are Mexico international Javier Hernandez – who is currently sidelined with a broken collarbone – and young forward James Wilson, who remains largely untested at Premier League level.
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