It simply wouldn't be a transfer window without Melodrama United taking centre stage, would it?


A combination of an injury crisis and some desperately terrible summer business has left the biggest sports entity in the universe once again scrambling to get a deal or two over the line in January, and the longer it ticks on, the more it seems like anyone - literally, anyone - will do. 


Some of the names linked to offer relief in the final third have been genuinely petrifying. Islam Slimani and Carlos Tevez have been among the ​most recent culprits in a long list of rumoured arrivals that range from 'no thanks' to 'what the actual f**k is that, get it off my screen before I'm sick everywhere'.

Carlos Tevez

All hope is not lost, however. For all the names being thrown up left and right are, for the most part, utterly nonsensical, a careful pour over the transfer market yields a handful of strikers who, whisper it gently, are actually attainable and in the ballpark of the standard required. 


So, since everyone else seems to be flooding Google's search results with wild, reckless, baseless speculation, we thought we'd give it a go too. But rather than give you yet another headache, we've opted to focus on the names that seem to make sense, and would represent some decent business for ​United


So...let's go. 


Kevin Volland

Kevin Volland

If Bayer Leverkusen striker Kevin Volland had enjoyed the career he has so far in England, then United would likely be all over him in their current state of affairs - and rightly so. He is as reliable as they come, with his record of nine goals in 26 appearances this season mirroring his overall Bundesliga strike rate of 74 in 238.


He's versatile, capable of playing up front or on either flank, and at 27, he is coming into the prime years of his career. The fact he's worn the captain's armband on 11 occasions indicates some leadership skills that the United squad is sorely lacking. 


He's valued highly by his club, but is out of contract next summer, so is by no means unrealistic for what United have to spend. Perhaps the only concern would be whether he can transpose his form into the stylistically contrasting Premier League, but it surely has to be worth the risk in United's present predicament.


Mariano Diaz

Mariano Diaz

If there's one man who knows what it's like to have a rough time of it at ​Real Madrid, it's Mariano Diaz. Initially shipped off to Lyon in 2017, it looked like he was about to take the continent by storm with a prolific maiden season in France, but those plans were scuppered when Los Blancos assumed the role of vengeful ex.


Executing a buy-back clause installed in the deal that took him to Ligue 1, within a year he was plucked from the grasp of a side who truly valued him, and subsequently frozen out of the picture after Real failed to cash in on his form. And here we are, in January of the 2019/20 season, and he has made just two competitive appearances - both from the bench in the Super Cup. 


Should someone express an interest in his services, then the 26-year-old is sure to be available for a pittance - or even on a short-term loan to rediscover his best form. His record in France shows there is a terrific goalscorer in there somewhere, and if United think there is any hope they can extract that from him, then it is a deal worth considering. 


Gabriel Barbosa

Trent Alexander-Arnold,Gabriel Barbosa

The wildcard signing of all wildcard signings, Barbosa's goalscoring antics famously fired Flamengo to a Brazilian Serie A title and the final of the Club World cup last year. Now he has returned to Inter, he looks set to be back on his travels before long. 


Clearly an unbelievably talented goalscorer, Gabigol's talent comes with its baggage, as his disciplinary record indicates, so in many ways he may be the antithesis of what United are after. 


There is no doubt it would get the supporters onside, however, and have the potential to add a fearsome new edge to the attacking third. A big risk, but one which may just be worth pursuing. 


Ollie Watkins 

Trevoh Chalobah,Ollie Watkins

The Brentford striker has been a phenomenon this season, and if his prolific form fires the Bees to the Premier League - which it very well could - then he will be worth an absolute fortune in the summer. 


Moving in from the wing to star as a central striker, Watkins has scored frequently and consistently, racking up 18 in 29 appearances in all competitions as Brentford have made themselves comfortable in a playoff position. 


He fits the Solskjaer mould more than anyone else here. He turned 24 last month meaning he has a few years left to develop, and has the pace, physicality and versatility to make himself an invaluable asset. The step up is a big one, but you only have to look at Daniel James to see that it is a feasible leap, and with the deal looking like it could cost twice as much in the summer, moving now would by no means represent questionable business. 


​Edinson Cavani

Edinson Cavani

As short-term deals go, this one is as sensible as it comes. A clinical, efficient goalscorer everywhere he's been, Cavani has the pedigree, experience and ability to really offer United something different - regardless of his advancing years. 


Signing him on an 18 month deal would allow him to serve as something of a stop-gap, allowing the likes of Mason Greenwood to learn from him and develop into an established starter. He wouldn't be up to starting every game, granted, but could be used as a valuable rotation option, while his presence in the team in high pressure European games could prove the difference for the Red Devils, who find themselves desperately short of players who have been there and done that. 


Huge wages, yes, questionable injury record, also yes. But beggars can't be choosers, and on this occasion the pros desperately outweigh the cons. 


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