Manchester United Transfer News: Gonzalo Higuain Targeted, Latest Rumours

Christopher SimpsonFeatured ColumnistMarch 2, 2016

Napoli's Gonzalo Higuain celebrates after scoring during a Serie A soccer match between Fiorentina and Napoli at the Artemio Franchi stadium in Florence, Italy, Monday, Feb. 29, 2016. (AP Photo/Fabrizio Giovannozzi)
Fabrizio Giovannozzi/Associated Press

Manchester United are reportedly preparing to pursue Napoli's Gonzalo Higuain in a £62 million deal following Chelsea's failed attempt to land him in January.

According to Xavier Jacobelli of Italian outlet Corriere dello Sport (h/t Rhys Turrell of the Daily Star), the Red Devils are "ready to enter the race" and could reunite Jose Mourinho with his former charge should he take over as manager.

The Argentinian has been on fire in front of goal this season scoring 25 goals in just 27 Serie A games. As the video below demonstrates, Higuain has scored all manner of goals:

Per Squawka, the 28-year-old has completed 40 take-ons in Serie A this year and is unlucky to have just two assists to his name having created 37 chances for his team-mates.

As writer and presenter Mina Rzouki noted in December, the striker has thrived in Italy's top flight since arriving from Real Madrid:

Indeed, BT Sport's James Horncastle believes him to be the "best player in the league":

United have lacked their usual killer instinct this season, scoring just 36 goals in 27 Premier League matches and winning only 12.

Their play in the final third has often been devoid of creativity, dynamism and ruthlessness, with Wayne Rooney struggling for much of the campaign and Anthony Martial frequently forced out wide.

Higuain could rectify all three problems and would add a real spark to their attack—something the Red Devils will sorely need if they're to challenge the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal for the title next season, not to mention possible contenders such as Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool.

Geert Vanden Wijngaert/Associated Press

United could also use a quality partner for Chris Smalling in defence, and they're targeting Valencia's Shkodran Mustafi, according to Jose Hernandez of Spanish outlet Deportivo Valenciano (h/t ESPN FC's Philip Costa).

The Old Trafford club are "thought to be at the front of the queue," with the Germany international reportedly unhappy with Los Che's struggles.

Per Squawka, the centre-back has won 28 tackles and 52 aerial duels in 19 La Liga appearances this season, as well as making an 82 interceptions.

Spanish football writers Graham Hunter and Andrew Gaffney highlighted Mustafi as one of Valencia's top performers:

The 23-year-old would be an excellent signing for United, who haven't enjoyed a truly reliable partnership at the back since Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Matic were in their prime.

Smalling's impressive development means he can probably form the basis of a new, solid United defence, and Mustafi is an outstanding candidate to build on that.