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Man United scouting Ben Brereton Diaz

Manchester United are reportedly keeping tabs on Blackburn Rovers striker Ben Brereton Diaz, with the Chilean attracting interest from across the Premier League.

What’s the word?

According to Football League World, the Red Devils have sent scouts to watch the 23-year-old in action in the Championship in recent times, albeit with fellow top-flight outfit West Ham United believed to be leading the race for his signature at present.

The report suggests that despite the forward’s recent commitment to staying at the club until the summer, Rovers could well be tempted to sell in the winter window were they to receive an offer of around £10m, amid the risk of losing the player for nothing at the end of the season with just over six months remaining on his existing deal.

A further report from 90min has also supported that claim, while also revealing further interest from a number of sides in the top tier – including the likes of Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa – as well as a whole host of clubs across Europe.

Ditch Ronaldo

A new centre-forward addition has seemingly become something of a necessity for United boss Erik ten Hag in January, with the club’s attack having become something of a “problem” of late, in the words of Manchester Evening News journalist, Samuel Luckhurst.

The potential main issue in a forward line that has scored just 18 league goals this season – only the 11th-best record in the division – has been that of 37-year-old icon, Cristiano Ronaldo, with the typically prolific marksman having scored just three goals in all competitions so far this term, including just a solitary league strike.

Having seen his reported hopes of a departure in the summer dashed, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner now appears more likely to secure an exit when the market re-opens in the New Year, with recent reports suggesting that the Old Trafford won’t stand in his way if an offer is received.

Would you want Brereton Diaz at Old Trafford?

Yes please!

Yes please!

No, not convinced

No, not convinced

That willingness to let the 191-cap machine move on has been heightened by the striker’s recent misdemeanours, with Ronaldo having refused to come off the bench in the win over Spurs last month, before leaving the ground prior to the end of the match.

With it potentially now time to sever ties with the veteran talent, turning to Brereton Diaz could well prove to be an astute, bargain capture for those at the Theatre of Dreams, particularly amid the uncertainty over their potential budget in January.

While the former Nottingham Forest man is yet to feature in the Premier League in his career thus far, the Stoke-born ace has been in truly lethal form in the second tier of late, scoring 22 goals in the league last season.

That clinical finishing has also been evident this term, with the “extraordinary” gem – as dubbed by former boss Tony Mowbray – firing in nine goals in 20 Championship games, while having also become something of a cult figure on the international stage with four goals in just 14 games for La Roja.

Not just a potent presence in front of goal, the 6 foot 1 powerhouse also offers a real asset with his remarkable work ethic, with the aforementioned Mowbray notably stating last term:

“The starting point is his work rate. Strikers obviously always get the glory of scoring goals but he’s a kid who works his socks off for this team, up and down, up and down.

“He’s not playing down the middle, he’s not the Adam Armstrong centre-forward who is there to finish things off. He’s working extraordinarily hard tracking full backs – or wing-backs as it was today. So the physical output has been amazing really.”

Such an assessment is not one that has been attributed to the struggling Ronaldo of late, with the one-time Juventus talisman’s lack of mobility having become a “full blown issue” for United at present, according to Tim Vigon.

Equally, turning to the Ewood Park hero could also buck the recent trend that has seen ageing forwards come through the door at Old Trafford, with the club having far too often opted for a short-term fix with the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edinson Cavani and Odion Igahlo.

It may be something of a wildcard pick to sign Brereton Diaz in the near future, although it could well prove to be something of a masterstroke.