Manchester United could be following the same path as both Chelsea and Arsenal, as they look to conclude a deal to sign Burnley striker Wout Weghorst. The Netherlands forward has spent the season on loan at Besiktas, but having waved goodbye to the fans after scoring against Kasimpasa, he is reportedly closing in on a move to Old Trafford.
The 30-year-old could join Erik ten Hag’s outfit on a short-term deal until the end of the season, replacing Cristiano Ronaldo who had his contract terminated at the club before the World Cup.
He will need his loan deal to be terminated between Burnley and Besiktas, but all parties are reportedly optimistic that an agreement can be found that will allow Weghorst to move to United, who could be following two Premier League rivals.
Weghorst has been compared to France hero Olivier Giroud in the past, as both tall strikers have a physical playing style that ensures that even if they are not scoring, they can be a threat to defences with their imposing demeanour and cause mayhem just through their presences. Both Chelsea and Arsenal had success with Giroud, and even after the Frenchman had left the Gunners, they were even linked with Weghorst as his potential replacement.
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Chelsea, however, found themselves in a very similar situation to United’s current predicament. In January 2018, Antonio Conte’s Blues had been struggling with their firepower after parting ways with Diego Costa. The Spanish striker had won two Premier League titles at Stamford Bridge and had become a cult figure at the club, before he was ousted by the new Italian boss.
Similarly to Ronaldo and Ten Hag, the relationship between Conte and Costa became fractured when the striker was told via text that he was not part of the coach’s plans and was free to leave, but he only wanted to move to Atletico Madrid. Conte preferred Alvaro Morata, who was signed but at the beginning of a disappointing spell for the Spaniard, Giroud was also brought to the club.
Chelsea have struggled to find a reliable striker to build around as Gonzalo Higuain, Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner have come and gone, while Graham Potter’s current side are struggling to find goals with the likes of Kai Havertz and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang up front.
Though Giroud was a consistent option for Chelsea during his time at the club and United will be hoping that Weghorst can do a similar job at Old Trafford.
Though his Premier League spell with Burnley was not positive, he boasts an impressive goalscoring record in Germany and his displays at the World Cup with the Netherlands proved that he can be a force at the top level.