Man Utd consider shock striker signing as West Ham & Newcastle hope to gazump Wolves over £14m striker

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The latest Premier League transfer rumours including Manchester United's surprise striker swoop and the latest from West Ham, Newcastle and Spurs.

Welcome our daily run-down of the biggest, best and downright strangest transfer rumours doing the rounds in the global press right now – and let’s start off with reports of a rather left-field transfer target that Manchester United are lining up.

Goals have been a big problem at Old Trafford this season – Luton Town have scored more in the Premier League so far – and reinforcements for the front three are plainly in order, but a new name has cropped up thanks to transfer-hack-in-chief Fabrizio Romano, via Caught Offside. That name is Eric Choupo-Moting.

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The 34-year-old striker has been a bit of a figure of fun for his strange career arc, which saw him seemingly fail upwards from a frustrating spell at Stoke City and end up winning a bucketload of silverware with Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich. He’s still in Bavaria but has barely touched the turf at the Allianz Arena since Harry Kane arrived, and apparently United are discussing him internally – although the article does note that negotiations have not been opened up.

The 3AM Verdict: Choupo-Moting has become the go-to guy for big teams who desperately need a back-up striker to come on for ten minutes and make a nuisance of themselves game after game – and honestly, for all that he was indeed pretty terrible at Stoke, he’s rather good at his narrow role. That said, he’s unlikely to be the answer to United’s scoring woes, and would at best be Odion Ighalo 2.0. That may not be such a bad thing, mind, and if nothing else he would be pretty cheap given that his contract runs out in the summer.

West Ham & Newcastle ready to break Wolves hearts

A big twist may be developing in one of the longest-running transfer sagas of the season – Wolverhampton Wanderers’ efforts to buy Salernitana striker Boulaye Dia. The Black Country club were close to signing him in the summer only for the Serie A side to scuttle the deal at the last minute, and have since had a loan offer rejected even though they are now prepared to sell.

All that effort may be in vain, however, according to a report from Sport Witness. Apparently West Ham United have entered the race and are “ready to shell out the €16m request” – that’s about £13.8m for the Brits reading this. The Hammers aren’t alone in attempting to gazump Wolves either, and apparently Newcastle United are considering a bid too.

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The 3AM Verdict: Dia has had two big-scoring seasons in his career – his last year at Reims in Ligue 1 before a disappointing move to Villarreal, and in his first season at Salernitana, when he racked up 16 goals and six assists. He hasn’t been able to replicate that form this season and has only hit the net four times, but there’s clear evidence that he has it in him to score plenty in the right team, so it’s no shock to see clubs like Wolves and West Ham, both of whom sorely need a striker, in the market. We’re a bit more sceptical about Newcastle’s interest, mind you, as while he’s versatile and can play across the front three, he doesn’t seem to fill much of a need for the Magpies.

Spurs veteran set to leave in the summer

Lastly for today, a word on the likely departure of veteran full-back Ivan Perišić from the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The 34-year-old’s contract expires in the summer and it seems likely that he has played his last game in a lilywhite shirt thanks to both the serious injury that has probably put him out for the season, and the interest of Hajduk Split.

Sport Witness have picked up on reports from Croatia that Hajduk have already got in contact with Spurs – Perišić is now allowed to negotiate his next contract ahead of a potential free transfer in the summer. Strangely, the article implies that the Split side are considering signing him before their transfer window closes in February, although that seems rather nonsensical given his injury status.

The 3AM Verdict: Perišić has given some pretty good service to Spurs in his autumn years, but after such a severe injury at such an advanced age (relative to a football player, anyway, notes the journalist who is older still…) it seems reasonable for them to let him go. It would be something of an emotional homecoming for the former Inter Milan man, too – he was born in Split and came through the Hajduk academy before leaving them back in 2006. So we support the move, partly on the grounds that it would be rather sweet.

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