Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has brushed aside any talk of a move for former West Ham United forward Marko Arnautovic.
Ten Hag’s big call ahead of Sunday’s home defeat against Brighton and Hove Albion was to name a starting line-up without a recognised striker with Cristiano Ronaldo left among the substitutes and Anthony Martial ruled out with a hamstring injury.
Summer signing Christian Eriksen played in false nine role and Marcus Rashford remained on the left-hand side.
Ronaldo was brought into the action just eight minutes into the second half but was unable to spark any meaningful reaction from his side as they slipped to a defeat.
With doubts still remaining over the Portuguese star’s future, Ten Hag is believed to be keen to add at least striker to his squad before the transfer window closes in September.
There has been speculation over a number of big names moving to Old Trafford over the last month - but a surprise new link emerged on Sunday.
Former Stoke City and West Ham United star Marko Arnautovic is supposedly a target for Ten Hag, and the Telegraph reported United have submitted an unsuccessful £7.2million bid to Serie A club Bologna.
A second offer is yet to be made as United consider their options but the Austrian international is said to be keen on a move.
Speaking after Sunday’s defeat, Ten Hag addressed the decision to play without a recognised frontman and refused to discuss any potential offer for Arnautovic.
He said: “I don’t go into names because I think in this pre-season 250 players are involved or linked with Man United, so that’s it.
“We have two strikers, maybe a third one, with Rashford as well. We considered him as a striker but he had a really good pre-season on the left side and today he had two really good chances coming in from the left side.
“So I think it was the right decision to do it like this. But the typical nine wasn’t available today.”
United are also reportedly preparing an offer for RB Salzburg’s highly-rated striker Benjamin Sesko - although the Austrian side are determined to hold on to their prized asset.