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Man Utd pull out of Pedro deal? Five alternative attacking targets

According to reports, Manchester United (5/1 with Coral to win the Premier League) have pulled out of the race to sign Barcelona forward Pedro, with Premier League competitors Chelsea now said to be front-runners for the Spaniard’s services.

The Red Devils’ reluctance may not just be due to an apparent late surge of interest from Stamford Bridge, as Pedro, who penned a new deal at the Nou Camp just this summer, could be easily captured through a £30m release-clause.

Could this suggest Louis van Gaal is focusing on other alternative attacking targets? Coral experts have their say on five who could be the Dutchman’s next attacking target…

Saido Berahino
Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Watford v West Bromwich Albion - Vicarage Road

Not a big name… yet. Nabbing West Bromwich Albion forward Berahino from under Tottenham’s nose would be in the ilk of a Sir Alex Ferguson-era transfer. Young, British and with bags of potential.

The Burundi-born striker is coveted by Spurs to support reported Man Utd target Harry Kane, yet the Red Devils could bypass that move and instead opt for his potential replacement. Berahino may not deliver titles on his own but could give Wayne Rooney a reprieve centrally, or flank him out wide.

Having hit 14 in the league last term for the far from flashy and flair-blessed Baggies, and often shunted into a supporting role, young and bullish Berahino has proven he can cut it in unfavourable conditions. Pacier than Pedro, although admittedly not yet as intuitive and intelligent in possession, the England Under-21 star would at worst be a decent back-up.

Julian Draxler
Soccer - FIFA World Cup 2014 - Final - Germany v Argentina - Estadio do Maracana
The curious case of Draxler continues. Still only 21, the highly-rated youngster’s career has already careened between dramatic highs and lows, but he remains a coveted prospect.

Juventus are keen on recruiting the Germany World Cup winner, who appears to have lost his scoring boots since bursting onto the scene back in 2010.

A versatile talent tipped to have a future up top rather than out wide, however, Van Gaal could work wonders with his vast potential. Perhaps United would not be keen on another unfinished product, considering they already have Adnan Januzaj on their books, but dangerous Draxler has all the qualities to become one of the best.

Isco
Soccer - 2015 Audi Cup - Real Madrid v Tottenham Hotspur - Allianz Arena
While Spain playmaker Isco could not fill in up top, he has in the past done a job on the flanks. Not the most obvious Bernabeu fit for Old Trafford, the Red Devils have recruited a host of slick and skilful Iberians in recent seasons that could complement Isco perfectly.

Rumoured to be surplus at Real Madrid, the attacking midfield could bring his deft touch and fantastic vision to quicken United’s attacking play in the final third, something that is severely lacking at the moment. Also able to play deeper, excellent Isco could provide endless options.

Gonzalo Higuain
Chile Soccer Copa America Argentina Jamaica
If reports are to be believed, goal-getter Higuain really want out of Napoli this summer. The Argentine would of course be costly, with questions rightly asked about his mentality come squeaky-bum time, yet the 27-year-old undoubtedly knows where the net is.

Having hit in 35 Serie A strikes in the last two terms, Higuain, who would likely not mind being somewhat of a last choice, could be a quick-fix solution for United’s paltry two goals in two Premier League games. Would Rooney accept being moved back to a supporting role, though?

Thomas Muller
Soccer - 2015 Audi Cup - Bayern Munich v AC Milan - Allianz Arena
The name repeatedly in the Red Devils’ transfer mix is Muller, with Man Utd, 7/1 to lift the FA Cup, most recently mooted to have tabled a €85m bid.

It would likely take more than just mega-money to land the deadly marksman, who seems a pipe-dream at this point. Yet, many would have said that about Angel Di Maria in the midst of his La Decima-winning season with Madrid.

Of course, Van Gaal’s connections to Bayern academy graduate Muller could be key if there is any chance of snatching the sharpshooter. Should he be poached, few would have any qualms about suggesting United had nabbed a player superior to Pedro.