Manchester United could force through a late deal with Napoli for Dries Mertens with his contract due to expire in the summer.
The Belgian had been a target for Chelsea as they look at ending their transfer drought in style, but those links have dried up with United now in pole position.
The Independent have reported that the Red Devils are still keen on a striker despite this evening’s 11pm deadline, with Mertens joined by Norwich City’s Teemu Pukki and Bournemouth’s Joshua King among others.
The report adds that the Old Trafford hierarchy are working hard to find a replacement for the injured Marcus Rashford before the end of the day, with their star striker out for up to three months.
Napoli are willing to let Mertens leave for a nominal fee rather than lose him for free in the summer, despite his seven years of fine performances for the club.
The 32-year-old has scored 118 goals and added a further 71 assists across his 304 appearances, scoring 34 times during the 2016/17 campaign.
Mertens has also made 86 appearances for 86 scoring 18 goals, and could offer United some experience up front.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was asked about his intentions in the remaining days of the transfer window on Wednesday, and he was open about what his side needs.
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He said: “We need more goalscorers, more goals, someone who wants to break their nose or toe to score.
“It doesn’t always have to be nice goals. I need to challenge them more.”
Despite the optimism that they club could secure one more deal this month, ex-Venezuela international Alejandro Moreno hopes United dont rush into any unnecessary deals.
He told ESPN FC: “The puzzle for Manchester United is all over the place.
Dries Mertens is out of form at Napoli and a Premier League move is on the cards
“If you find another piece out there who can…