Manchester United are reported to hold an interest in Bayern Munich’s Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting but an unusual rule in German football will prevent them from making an approach.
Erik ten Hag’s side have struggled enormously with goals this season. Only Burnley and Sheffield United – in 19th and 20th place in the Premier League respectively – have scored fewer league goals than United.
The team’s two senior centre-forwards – Rasmus Hojlund and Anthony Martial – have combined for two goals this year. Antony, Jadon Sancho and Mason Mount have managed zero, while Alejandro Garnacho and Marcus Rashford have fared a little better with six goals between them.
Scott McTominay, a midfielder United almost sold in the summer, has shocking emerged as the team’s most potent goal threat, topping the chart for most league goals for United.
And that hardly reflects well on the attacking charges at the club.
As such, United are believed to be prioritising a striker in January to help Ten Hag buttress his misfiring forward line. The constraints of Financial Fair Play (FFP) are likely to limit the club to loan moves only, however.
Which is why the reported interest in Choupo-Moting is an absolute non-starter, despite the Cameroonian appearing to tick a lot of boxes for United.
He is an experienced goal-scorer with a proven track record at the top of European football. He is also content operating in a more squad-based capacity, making him a suitable complement to Hojlund, rather than an awkward replacement.
But, in light of United’s sole reliance on loan deals this winter, a move for the Bayern man will not happen, given his contract will expire in the summer.
As explained in greater detail here, German clubs are unable to loan out players whose contracts are set to expire at the same point the prospective loan deal would.
“Another condition is that a loaned-out player must maintain a contractual commitment to the club to which they return once their loan expires.”
Put simply, Choupo-Moting cannot leave Bayern on loan this month, as when he returns from said loan, he will no longer possess a contract with the German club. This means, that if United’s interest in the 34-year-old is concrete, they will have to buy him, rather than loan him.
And, as discussed above, United are so hamstrung financially they are unable to buy anyone. Therefore, Choupo-Moting will not be relocating to Old Trafford in January without the club first finding some extra coppers down the back of the couch.