Manchester United have reportedly identified Bayer Leverkusen attacker Moussa Diaby as a potential transfer target for 2023.
Since July, the future of Cristiano Ronaldo has dominated speculation at Old Trafford, the Portuguese superstar allegedly keen to push through an exit during the summer.
As a result of a scathing interview that was broadcast earlier this month, the 37-year-old has now been released by United, leaving a space in Erik ten Hag’s squad.
With the Red Devils said to be saving in the region of £16m due to Ronaldo departing for nothing, there is scope to make a big-money addition during the January window.
United are said to be giving consideration to a number of players, including Ajax’s Cody Gakpo, Barcelona’s Memphis Depay and Borussia Monchengladbach’s Marcus Thuram.
Nevertheless, according to Fichajes, Diaby is also said to be on the radar of influential figures behind the scenes at the Theatre of Dreams.
The 23-year-old has been with Leverkusen since 2019, contributing a total of 43 goals and 41 assists from his 146 appearances in all competitions.
Although Diaby has not matched the heights of previous seasons in 2022-23, the France international has still contributed eight goals and four assists.
With over two-and-a-half years remaining on his contract, Leverkusen will not feel forced to consider the sale of arguably their most prized asset at this stage.
However, interest is only going to rise in Diaby, particularly when a renewal at Leverkusen is seemingly off the table while they are out of contention for European qualification for 2023-24.
The report claims that United view Diaby as a like-for-like replacement for Anthony Martial, who has not lived up to Erik ten Hag’s expectations since the summer.
Ten Hag wanted to use Martial as a first-choice player in the final third, but injury has restricted him to just three starts and four substitute appearances in all competitions.
United will seemingly look to part ways with Martial at the end of the season when he will have just a year remaining on his contract.
Although United will naturally be regarded as one of the favourites for Diaby, Newcastle United have also been linked with the player in the past.