Manchester United have had an opening bid rejected for Bologna striker Marko Arnautovic as Erik ten Hag desperately tries to bolster his attacking options.
Fabrizio Romano confirmed via Twitter that Manchester United’s offer was rejected, saying: “Opening bid around €9/10m has been turned down.”
The price tag for the Serie A striker has been set at €15m (£12.6m) according to 90min and with Ten Hag aiming to add some attacking depth to his squad, another bid seems inevitable.
Italian outlet iI Resto del Carlino, which is local to Bologna, have reported that Arnautovic has asked his side to sell him to Manchester United. Still, the Serie A side doesn’t want to.
The Premier League side began their campaign with a toothless 2-1 defeat at home to Brighton as the new revolution under the Dutchman started off with a whimper.
A quickfire double by Pascal Gross gave Brighton a lead they never relinquished and Ten Hag will need to bolster his attacking options, and fast, if he wants to get the supporters behind his vision for the club.
Arnautovic has previous Premier League experience, scoring 43 goals in the competition in spells at Stoke City and West Ham United. Last season he netted an impressive 14 goals in 33 Serie A appearances, proving he still has the ability to terrorise defences at the highest level.
It is that touch in front of goal that the Red Devils desperately need with Cristiano Ronaldo potentially facing the exit door as well.
Any potential move might be seen as a sign of the way things have become at the club, with Gary Neville expressing his frustrations, saying: “I’ve got a comment on everything in the world, apart from Manchester United signing Marko Arnautovic. I’ve got nothing to say.”
These are understandable considering his age; however, the striker still has plenty to give and this could represent his last chance to shine in the Premier League.
Journalist Manuel Veth dubbed the player a “fantastic talent” and with Man United urgently needing a goal scorer, it could well be a move that surprises a lot of people.
Arnautovic generated 82 shot-creating actions in total last season for Bologna, which would have ranked him level with Jaden Sancho for United last season so it’s clear to see that he’d add a great deal more to a United side that lacks a much-needed spark.
He is a brute and tough to play against too, which is perhaps just the thing this feeble and lacklustre team are lacking.
The Austrian may not be the superstar the Old Trafford faithful want, but with a track record of scoring in England, it should be a blow to ten Hag that their first offer has been rejected.