Manchester United Transfers: 10 Striker Options for January
Manchester United have not exactly been goal shy this season.
The reigning Premier League champions have scored 37 goals in the league so far this season. Only local rivals and current league-leaders Manchester City have scored more, with their highly impressive haul of 50.
United's big problems may be in midfield, but with Dimitar Berbatov and Michael Owen out of favour, Danny Welbeck not scoring domestically for nearly three months and Federico Macheda still looking nowhere near the player people thought the club had on their hands after his scintillating first-team debut, they could certainly do with adding firepower in attack if they are to boost their hopes of usurping City.
The midseason transfer window is not always the happiest of hunting grounds, and most top clubs would not be willing to let their main strikers leave halfway through a campaign. In addition, the lure of Europa League football may not be enough to tempt any players who may take a more short-termist view of their career path.
Here are 10 players that United boss Alex Ferguson could realistically target in the January transfer window.
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Even though he has only scored four Premier League goals in that time, he has looked increasingly well-adjusted to English football and more of an attacking threat, despite Fulham's patchy form.
Not only would the 24-year-old add on his scoring threat, he would also add another dimension of central creativity to a United team currently lacking in that department.
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The Croatian forward is enjoying his best season in English football since joining Bolton Wanderers in 2009. One more Premier League goal will see him equal his best return of eight of a single campaign.
Any fears that his kidney transplant 2007 would affect his subsequent health and fitness have been disproved. In the past two-and-a-half years he has made more than 60 appearances for the Trotters in the league alone.
Despite his age of 31 and Bolton sitting bottom of the table at the time of writing, Klasnic could prove a canny January addition.
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Southampton's Rickie Lambert may be the top scorer in the Championship this season with 15 goals so far, but Leeds forward McCormack has been scoring freely in the second tier too.
The Scotland international only joined Leeds from Cardiff last year, but there have been several reports suggesting he will be the subject of interest from several Premier League clubs come January.
His ability to operate as a winger as well as a front man will also count in the favour of the 25-year-old, whose possible defection from Elland Road to the club's bitter rivals would be softened by the fact that Alan Smith has already trod that cross-Penine path in recent years.
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If Ferguson is not interested in signing McCormack, a fellow Glaswegian, he could instead choose to raid his former club Rangers from his hometown.
Since moving to Ibrox in August 2010, Jelavic has spared few sides in the SPL from his goal-scoring exploits. In 49 games for the Scottish champions he has scored 33 goals.
Very much an out-and-out striker, the 26-year-old's height, strength and finishing ability have already attracted the attentions from several clubs, but none of which hold the kind of lustre that a move to Old Trafford would.
Ruud van Nistelrooy
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The Dutch master has not had the best of times since he signed up for Malaga's expensive "project" in the summer.
Since moving back to La Liga he has scored just once in 13 league appearances (eight starts), and was earlier this month dropped from the squad that faced Osasuna for no other reason than his poor form.
However, the 35-year-old is a United legend, never scoring fewer than 20 Premier League goals in any of the four seasons at the club when he was fully fit.
If Ferguson can bury the hatchet with his former star striker and believes he could coax one final purple patch from him, a loan signing or short-term contract could be a shrewd move.
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The last time Ferguson tipped into the Russian capital to make a January signing, he emerged with Spartak Moscow defender Nemanja Vidic in 2006. That move seemed to work out well enough.
Now if the United boss wanted to raid Russia again to strengthen his team at the other end of the pitch, he could do a lot worse than go for CSKA Moscow striker Seydou Doumbia.
The 23-year-old Ivory Coast international has scored an incredible 45 goals in 58 games for CSKA, including five in as many appearances in this season's Champions League, helping them reach the knockout phase where they have been paired with Real Madrid.
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The Valencia forward must be wondering what he has to do to get a look in with the Spanish national team following a year in which he has scored 30 goals for Los Che so far.
With Vicente del Bosque's patience with Fernando Torres continuing to be tested and David Villa's potentially season-ending leg fracture, Soldado's fortunes will surely change in the run-up to Euro 2012.
Financially- troubled Valencia have shown time and again that they struggle to keep hold of their best players, and a big offer for their 26-year-old star striker may be too much to resist.
Papiss Demba Cisse
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Bundesliga minnows Freiburg did very well to keep hold of Senegalese forward Cisse in the summer following him scoring 22 goals in 32 league appearances for the club last season.
He has continued that fine form this term; despite the club sitting bottom of the table going into the German winter break, the 26-year-old has scored nine league goals so far in 17 games.
Cisse also boasts an impressive strike rate at international level, having scored seven goals in 12 appearances for Senegal.
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One of the players to be outscoring Cisse in Germany this season is Podolski, who has netted 14 times so far for FC Koln.
The pacy, versatile forward has enjoyed a career renaissance since returning to his first professional club in 2009 after a lukewarm three seasons at giants Bayern Munich.
However, he has been remarkably consistent for Germany throughout his career, and his resurgence at club level suggests that the 26-year-old is finally ready to make the move to a European giant that perhaps came too soon with Bayern, when he was just 21.
Luuk De Jong
The Twente striker would perhaps be one for the future more than necessarily a January signing designed to have an impact on this season's title race, but he would certainly be worth picking up all the same.
De Jong is still only 21, but is one of the most highly rated young prospects in Dutch football after he followed up last season's haul of a dozen Eredivisie goals with another 10 in this campaign.
The 6'2" forward, younger brother of Ajax midfielder Siem, also broke into the Dutch national team this year, scoring his first goal for the Oranje against Finland in September.