Manchester United and Liverpool in battle for Saido Berahino
Manchester United (9/2 with Coral to win a major trophy) are said to be readying their winter window transfer warchest to raid West Bromwich Albion for star striker Saido Berahino.
The Burundi-born forward has seen his recent sparkling performances for the Baggies rewarded with a call up to Roy Hodgson’s England squad. Now, on the verge of earning his first senior Three Lions cap, Berahino’s stock has never been higher, after netting seven goals in 10 Premier League league appearances this term.
With Robin van Persie still finding form after a long World Cup campaign, and superstar loan signing Radamel Falcao sidelined with injury, Louis van Gaal appears to be attempting to add to his already bountiful attacking options.
If the Red Devils want to prise the West Brom academy product away from The Hawthorns, however, they will have to part with a reported £25m to secure brilliant Berahino’s services. The 21-year-old forward’s pricetag could be raised even further, though, due to apparent interest from Liverpool and Tottenham, which could potentially ignite a bidding war between the bitter rivals.
Both Brendan Rodgers’ Reds and Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs side are in need of a significant transfer boost, with the two teams’ collection of frontmen, including sidelined Daniel Sturridge and misfiring Roberto Soldado and Mario Balotelli, either injured or in poor form.
Liverpool (2/1 for a top four finish) and Tottenham’s dearth of suitable striking options could see Berahino opting for either Anfield or White Hart Line instead of Old Trafford, but the potent attacker is believed to be a boyhood United fan.
For their part, Berahino’s current club West Brom are reported to be doing all in their power to retain their prize asset, and intend to fend-off interest in the top attacker by offering an improved contract.
It is thought that Alan Irvine’s side would have to double Berahino’s wages to keep him at the club, so cashing in may yet prove to be the best option for the Baggies.