Manchester United are set to make an audacious move for Everton striker Romelu Lukaku this January, despite the Toffees making it clear that they are unwilling to do business midway through the season. Louis van Gaal wants a forward to alleviate their lack of attacking impetus up front and the Belgian has emerged as their prime target, having already scored 19 goals in 25 appearances in all competitions this season.
The Mirror reports that United heavily scouted Lukaku last summer but decided against making a bid for the player, with Van Gaal satisfied with his options up front. The striker is currently rated at £40m ($59m) but his value is expected to rise if he can manage to hold on to his current form. The striker also scored the winner for Everton in the first leg of the Capital One Cup semi-final against Manchester City, instilling his importance in the Everton team, which is slowly coming to terms with the pace of the league.
United on the other hand have scored only 24 goals in the league this term, the lowest tally among any team in the top eight of the league. Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial's form has been the main debilitating factor in their attack but both came back to goalscoring ways against Swansea City as the Red Devils registered their first win after a stretch of eight games, without joy in all competitions.
However, chances of landing Lukaku in January are extremely low, with Everton keen to challenge United for a place in the top four but failure to complete a deal here will see United come back with a renewed interest in the summer, when they are set to embark on a massive spending spree. The Red Devils have already been linked with a move for Gareth Bale from Real Madrid in the summer, with the Welshman reportedly unhappy with Rafa Benitez's sacking.
For the current season, United have already recalled Will Keane and Adnan Januzaj to the first-team setup after prematurely ending their loan spells with their respective clubs. Januzaj had only managed three starts at Dortmund and is likely to be inducted into the team for their FA Cup clash against Sheffield United in the weekend.