Man United make £10m Fergie-approved striker surprise target to solve goal crisis

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Manchester United are reportedly planning a £10m January bid for Mainz forward Yoshinori Muto.

According to The Mirror, the Red Devils have been watching the 23-year-old with a view to adding him to their struggling striking ranks when the transfer window reopens next month.

Ageing captain Wayne Rooney and £36m summer signing Anthony Martial – fee reported by BBC Sport – have managed just six Premier League goals between them this season.

Louis van Gaal has allowed Robin van Persie, Radamel Falcao and Javier Hernandez to leave and sent James Wilson on loan to Championship high-fliers Brighton & Hove Albion.

The Dutchman acknowledges that he must strengthen his attacking options after a run of 14 goals in 15 games which has brought severe pressure on his job, as The Sun reports.

Seventeen-times capped Japanese international Muto has seven goals in 14 games for Mainz this season after joining from FC Tokyo in May, where he found the net 26 goals in 59 appearances.

United have scouted him several times and, according to The Mirror, Muto has been given the seal of approval from former manager Sir Alex Ferguson, now on the board at Old Trafford.

The Mirror adds that Chelsea have previously been linked with a move for Muto, who is contracted to Mainz until 2019 but would likely jump at the chance at play for United in the Premier League.

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