The 30-year-old is seen as a potential backup for Cristiano Ronaldo by Rafael Benitez, who the Spaniard is planning on playing in a central position according to the Express. The former Athletic Bilbao man would likely be happier in a reserve role than Karim Benzema, who has been first choice for the last few seasons.
This could be seen as good news for the Premier League duo, who are both interested in signing Benzema. Gunners manager Arsene Wenger has refused to deny that he is going after the forward [Goal.com], while the Red Devils want the striker as part of a flurry of signings, according to the Daily Mirror.
It is no wonder that the English clubs are keen on the France international after he netted 22 goals in 47 games last season. A proven goalscorer, he could add the cutting edge that both sides need to challenge Chelsea for the Premier League title.
There have always been doubts over the ability of Olivier Giroud to fire a team to major honours, while it is arguable that Danny Welbeck and Theo Walcott are better used out wide. This has left Wenger needing to bolster the position.
Meanwhile, United boss Louis van Gaal has allowed Robin van Persie to join Fenerbahce, leaving Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez as the only senior strikers in the squad after Radamel Falcao’s loan ended. If the team are going to compete properly on four fronts then it is vital that they have more options up front, with previous great United sides relying on a 30-goal-a-season striker in the mould of Andrew Cole, Dwight Yorke and Ruud van Nistelrooy.