Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho planning to buy a world-class strikers
Marcus Rashford led line superbly in 2-0 victory over Chelsea at Old Trafford
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is yet to commit himself to a second season with United.
Manchester United will go ahead with plans to buy a world-class striker this summer despite the promise shown by teenage star Marcus Rashford.
The 19-year-old England international led the line superbly for United against Chelsea at Old Trafford on Sunday and scored the first goal in a 2-0 win for Jose Mourinho’s side.
But after bemoaning the lack of ‘killers’ in his team in recent weeks, Mourinho is set on signing a new striker having drawn up a list of targets that includes Antoine Griezmann of Atletico Madrid and Everton’s Romelu Lukaku.
With Wayne Rooney on his way out of Old Trafford, Zlatan Ibrahimovic yet to commit himself to a second season with United at the age of 35, and Anthony Martial enduring a disappointing campaign, Mourinho could even be in the market for two new forwards.
The United boss has acknowledged that this season was always going to be a difficult one for Rashford after his sensational breakthrough year, and believes the 19-year-old will improve again over the course of the next 12 months.
Rashford has not been helped by having to play out wide to accommodate Ibrahimovic in a central role and the Swede has scored 28 goals compared to nine by his young team-mate.
Ibrahimovic is set to be restored to the line-up against Anderlecht in Thursday night’s Europa League quarter-final second leg after starting the Chelsea game on the bench.
Rashford’s pace up front alongside Jesse Lingard caused Antonio Conte’s side all sorts of problems, but it’s likely that he will be on the left against the Belgians.
One advantage of persuading Ibrahimovic to stay for an extra year would be the help he can offer Rashford. The two players talk regularly at United’s Carrington training ground, and Rashford has benefited from studying one of the best and most experienced strikers in world football.
After seeing Rashford run Chelsea ragged, team-mate Matteo Darmian believes that United’s No 19 will achieve similar status one day.
‘With his quality, he can be one of the top players, one of the most important players, in the world,’ said Darmian.
‘I think he is very good in every part of the game. He has a very good shot, movement, speed.’
Ashley Young, who captained United against Chelsea, echoed those thoughts, saying: ‘He has a massive future in front of him not only for Manchester United but for England as well.
‘I’ve said it all along that when he was coming through the youth team and reserves you could see there was something special about him.
‘He plays the game with hunger and comes naturally to him. I don’t think there are many defenders who can live with him.’