'Still keep things open' - Verdict on late Man Utd transfer business amid Karim Benzema links

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Man Utd have been linked to several strikers this month and will be without Anthony Martial for around 10 weeks.

A move for Karim Benzema in the final week of the transfer window remains 'unlikely' for Manchester United despite Anthony Martial's long-term absence, according to reports. 

United confirmed on Wednesday that Martial will be out of action for around 10 weeks after undergoing surgery on a groin issue. The striker last played in the 3-0 defeat against Bournemouth in December and will likely be sidelined until early April.

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Striker links had already been aplenty this month with Erik ten Hag thought to want short-term cover for Rasmus Hojlund. Among the many names was Karim Benzema, who wants to leave Al Ittihad just seven months after arriving in the Saudi Pro League.

Speculation has intensified over the last 24 hours since Martial's absence was confirmed but according to Fabrizio Romano, United's plans for the final days of the window have not changed.

"As of today, sources at the club believe [a move for Benzema] is really unlikely because the package is too expensive, and because of Financial Fair Play," Romano told CaughtOffside. "At the moment, even with the Martial injury there are no changes to Man United’s plans because of FFP.

"I’d still keep things open in case they find a good opportunity but there are no concrete names so far, nothing close at this stage, so it remains very quiet.

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United have also been linked with a loan move for Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting but reports in Germany suggest he is keen to stay at Bayern Munich and the Bundesliga outfit want to keep him. Ajax youngster Brian Brobbey has also been named as a potential option but does not bring the experience that Ten Hag wants between now and May.

United could be left with only Hojlund as a natural option at No.9 if they decide against signing a short-term option. The Danish international has shown moments of brilliance but is still only 20-years-old and Ten Hag has often admitted he cannot be relied upon as a sole option.

Marcus Rashford can lead the line if needed but has been ineffective when doing so this season. The 26-year-old endured a torrid start to the campaign but has been back in the goals recently, netting twice in his last three appearances.

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