Manchester United are lining up a £10m move for Mainz striker Yoshinori Muto in the January transfer window.
Muto has a contract at Mainz until 2019, but the German club could be persuaded to sell him if United choose to bid.
The 23-year-old striker joined Mainz in May from FC Tokyo and has scored seven goals in 14 appearances for the Bundesliga club so far.
Louis van Gaal’s side have struggled for goals this season and the Dutchman knows he needs to strengthen his attacking options.
Van Gaal offloaded Robin van Persie, Javier Hernandez and Radamel Falcao in the summer transfer window and allowed James Wilson to go out on loan.
The Dutchman currently has just two recognised strikers in Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial to select from. His initial plan to stick with Marouane Fellaini as an alternative option has backfired completely and therefore he needs a good backup striker at the earliest.
Signing a top level ‘big-money’ striker in the January transfer window can be difficult, therefore United will look for cheaper alternatives in the market before making a major decision next summer .
Pace, physical strength and ability to hold the ball are Muto’s key attributes – perfect for the hustle-and-bustle English game – and he is said to be looking forward to the challenge of playing in the Premier League.