Manchester United are set to rival Manchester City for the signature of Real Sociedad striker Alexander Isak, according to reports in Spain.
Isak is one of the most sought-after strikers in Europe at present thanks to his exploits in the Basque Country. Since joining from Borussia Dortmund in 2019, he has hit double figures in consecutive seasons.
The 22-year-old’s career is firmly back on track after a difficult spell in Germany. He seems destined for the top level and already has a number of clubs queuing up for him.
Arsenal appear to be major suitors for Isak, for example. They will need a new striker given that Alexandre Lacazette is in the final year of his contract.
But instead, it is the two Manchester rivals who are likely to go head to head for his transfer, according to Fichajes.
The Spanish source claims both Man Utd and Man City would be willing to pay the Sweden international’s release clause, which stands at €90m after he signed a new contract earlier this year.
Both clubs are financially powerful enough to compete at those levels if they deem Isak to be worth it.
The centre-forward position is one they could each consider strengthening. City’s interest in Isak was documented recently, after they failed to sign a replacement for record scorer Sergio Aguero before he left in the summer.
Pep Guardiola has often sent his team out with a false nine in the first few games of the current season. But the champions could reach another level if they were to add an out-and-out number nine.
Across Manchester, United are also going to have some decisions to make about their attack. Edinson Cavani is under contract for the rest of the season and Cristiano Ronaldo recently returned to the club. But both are nearing the ends of their careers.
Isak may be a long-term successor if United can accommodate him.
The report claims a transfer would only take place next summer, rather than in January. Even with a contract until 2026, La Real will be powerless to keep him if either club stump up the €90m required to activate his clause.
Isak is yet to score from six La Liga appearances so far this season. However, he did net in his solitary Europa League showing so far. He looks likely to have another big season ahead of him.
Only time will tell if it is his last one in the blue and white stripes of Real Sociedad.
Cavani coming to end of United career?
Whatever happens, the clock appears to be ticking on the Man Utd career of Cavani, despite him committing to the club in the summer.
The Uruguay striker’s gametime has decreased this season and the return of Ronaldo is not helping.
“He was unlucky, because without Ronaldo coming in, he was playing as the main striker,” Poyet told talkSPORT.
“The decision of Juventus, Man City getting involved, incredibly went against one person especially – and that was Cavani. Maybe he should move in January.
“From the outside, I don’t know him. But if I was him, seeing how things are now, and seeing him not getting to 90 minutes for the national team because he’s not playing – maybe.”
As and when Cavani does leave, United will have to think about how to succeed him in the long term.