Manchester United have reportedly made Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang their No. 1 target for the summer transfer window and are reportedly prepared to offer him a £200,000-per-week contract.
According to John Cross of the Mirror, United are "confident" that they can persuade the Gabon international to move to Old Trafford even if they can't offer him UEFA Champions League football next season.
Cross indicated that the Manchester outfit have already "sounded out Aubameyang's representatives" and are prepared to pay more than £60 million to sign him.
United's executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, said last week that he was expecting the Red Devils to make more moves in the transfer market at the end of the season, per Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News:
Samuel Luckhurst @samuelluckhurst
Woodward on summer transfer window: 'I do think there’ll be more activity in the summer.' #mufc2016-2-11 13:10:56
United have been major players in the recent past, with manager Louis van Gaal bringing in more than £250 million worth of additions since taking the job in 2014, but to no great effect, per the Telegraph.
The Old Trafford side still need reinforcements up front, though, as Anthony Martial and Wayne Rooney are the only two senior strikers in Van Gaal's squad.
Aubameyang has shown this season that he is one of the most lethal goalscorers in Europe.
The 26-year-old has netted 20 times in as many appearances in the Bundesliga in 2015-16, while his UEFA Europa League return is similarly impressive at four in four, per WhoScored.com.
Under head coach Thomas Tuchel, Aubameyang's form has been one of the key reasons for Dortmund's resurgence this season, and they look set to be automatic qualifiers for the Champions League next term.
Meanwhile, United are fifth in the Premier League and floundering, with Bleacher Report's Dean Jones predicting that Chelsea, who are in 12th place, may even catch United before the season is out:
The Red Devils' defeat to Sunderland on Saturday was a further blow to their top-four ambitions, and even Van Gaal admitted that their best route into the Champions League may now be to win the Europa League, per the Mail on Sunday's Rob Draper.
But given the lucrative contract United are reportedly prepared to offer Aubameyang, he could be persuaded to move to Old Trafford.
Equally, he may be attracted by the prospect of playing under Jose Mourinho, who looks likely to succeed Van Gaal, should United miss out on the Champions League, per Cross.
Despite United's struggles, they remain capable of attracting major stars, and if they have indeed named Aubameyang as their No. 1 target, they are likely to go all out to sign him.