Manchester United are reportedly set to face a three-way deadline-day scrap with Southampton and Leicester City for CSKA Moscow forward Ahmed Musa. Musa has reportedly turned down three offers from the latter, including an £18.7 million bid, but the Foxes are expected to keep trying as they near Musa's £20 million valuation.
That's according to Darren Lewis of the Mirror, who noted the Russian club are eager to have the Nigerian stay until the summer. "If they are unable to do so, they want to get as close to his £22.8 million buyout clause as they can," he said. "It is believed CSKA would accept £20 million."
The Red Devils could use some attacking reinforcements after accruing a meagre 28 goals in 23 Premier League games this season, with their front line often devoid of pace or imagination and the club 10 points off the pace in fifth and five points from the top four.
Meanwhile, the Foxes find themselves leading the charge for the title, and another forward option would ease the pressure on the likes of Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez, whose form has cooled in recent weeks.
As for Southampton, Lewis noted that after the club brought in Charlie Austin, former favourite Graziano Pelle is hoping to move on.
The 23-year-old Musa has scored 10 goals and assisted on three in all competitions this season. Capable of playing as a centre-forward or on the left, he has the pace and directness to reinvigorate United's forward line or slot into Leicester's counter-attacking system.
The BBC's John Bennett is an admirer of the forward:
John Bennett @JohnBennettBBC
Ahmed Musa would be a great signing for #LCFC... He's so quick he'd make Jamie Vardy look as slow as Per Mertesacker https://t.co/CdUEBrpKw81/26/2016, 3:29:13 PM
John Bennett @JohnBennettBBC
Ahmed Musa proving yet again tonight that he is a player to watch over the next few years... #CSKA #UCLPlayOff8/26/2015, 8:59:50 PM
Musa is enduring a goal drought, though, after shining early in the season, and as WhoScored.com revealed, he could be more clinical:
Ahmed Musa: No player has missed more clear-cut chances in the Russian Premier League this season than Musa (9)1/28/2016, 10:32:23 AM
Nevertheless, he has the potential to grow and could thrive in the Premier League.
However, BBC Sport's Oluwashina Okeleji reported CSKA are adamant they won't sell him in January:
Oluwashina Okeleji @oluwashina
CSKA Moscow have insisted that Leicester City can forget buying #Nigeria striker Ahmed Musa in this transfer window: https://t.co/hzuhffNEKo1/31/2016, 2:20:45 PM
With the Foxes already having come close to his release clause, though, it wouldn't be a stretch for them to match it in order to get their man.
Southampton seem to be the most unlikely to pursue him following the capture of Austin, even if Pelle does make a late exit.
United typically have little hesitation in splashing the cash to bring in new players, so they may bid for Musa and hijack Leicester's pursuit. However, Wayne Rooney's return to form has seen him find the net six times in six games in 2016, so it wouldn't be surprising if that causes manager Louis van Gaal to hesitate in pulling the trigger on any attacking reinforcements on Monday.
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