Manchester United are reportedly eyeing a shock move for Dalian Yifang striker Salomon Rondon before the end of the January transfer window.
According to Gary Jacob and Martin Hardy of The Times, the Red Devils are considering a move for the former Newcastle United striker after missing out on Krzysztof Piatek, who is set to move to Hertha Berlin from AC Milan.
It's noted Rondon "could be available on loan after the Chinese Super League cancelled the start date of the new season because of the escalation of the coronavirus epidemic." A fresh start date for the campaign has not been confirmed.
United were reportedly close to agreeing an 18-month loan deal with Piatek, with Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur said to be interested, although Hertha look to have secured the Poland international on a permanent basis; it's added he will earn a weekly wage of £80,000 with the Bundesliga outfit.
That means United may make a play for Rondon instead, who moved to the Chinese Super League in July 2019.
The forward followed Rafael Benitez to the club, having worked well together during a loan spell at St James' Park from West Bromwich Albion last term. The Venezuelan enjoyed his best-ever goalscoring season in English football in 2018-19, netting 11 Premier League goals.
United are short of options at the point of the attack at the moment, with Marcus Rashford out for two months because of a double stress fracture in his back.
Anthony Martial has led the line well at times this term, although he continues to be inconsistent in his output, while Mason Greenwood has shone in bursts, albeit he is only 18 years old. As such, an experienced striker with a different profile may represent a savvy signing for United.
Rondon is powerful in the air and is a strong link man, able to bring others into the game with his physical forward play. However, he lacks the mobility needed to play a high-intensity game and was never a prolific goalscorer during his time in English football.
Given the 30-year-old hasn't played a competitive game since December 1, it may also take United some time to get him up to full speed.
If Rondon does arrive, he will be United's second acquisition of the January window, with the club having confirmed a deal has been agreed with Sporting CP for the transfer of Portugal international midfielder Bruno Fernandes.