Manchester United manager David Moyes has reportedly earmarked Aston Villa's Christian Benteke as a top striker target and is planning on making an approach for him in the near future.
The Belgium international was superb for Villa last year, scoring 23 goals and eight assists from 39 appearances in all competitions, in what was his debut season in England. The 22-year-old has continued his good run of form this year, netting four times in as many games.
Moyes is an admirer of Benteke and, according to the Mirror, United are now keeping an eye on the striker, as the manager weighs up an offer. The report claims the former Everton boss made a personal check on him during Belgium's match against Scotland in World Cup qualifiers last week.
Benteke joined Villa from Belgian side Genk last summer for a fee around £7m. The forward signed a new contract - worth £60,000-a-week - with the Birmingham outfit in July, just 11 days after handing in a transfer request, amid rumours of interest from Tottenham Hotspur. However, landing him should not cause a problem for United, as the Villans have stated the player would be allowed to leave if their valuation is met.
United have four senior forwards in their ranks at the moment, though they still have concerns over the future of Wayne Rooney. The Red Devils managed to keep hold of the England international in the summer window, despite strong interest from Chelsea. However, since the player is yet to commit his future and sign an extension, the club could be forced to cash in on him next summer, when he will have just 12 months left on his contract.
Robin van Perise still remains the main man at United but the Dutchman is now over 30 and Moyes knows he needs to identify a long-term replacement. Meanwhile, there are also doubts over the future of Javier Hernandez, who has been demoted to a bit-part player in the last two seasons.