Man Utd was harassed by a “complete striker” during a possible replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo

Manchester United were in the market for a forward during the January window following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo – and previous targets are now off the table

Matheus Cunha has completed his move to Wolves

Matheus Cunha has finally completed his move to the Premier League – months after being heavily linked with Manchester United.

But instead of moving to Old Trafford to replace Cristiano Ronaldo, the Brazilian will sign for relegation-threatened Wolverhampton Wanderers. New Wolves boss Julen Lopetegui confirmed a deal with Atletico Madrid has now been completed, with the forward becoming his first signing in the Molineux dugout.

Today I have to speak about him, obviously he will be with us. It will happen as soon as the market opens,” explained Lopetegui, Friday.

“Now he will be our player, but in the next games we have to focus on the players who are here. He’s a good player, I know him and I think he’s a great signing for us now and for the future. When the market opens, Cunha will help us.”

Wolves will need Cunha to get to work if his Premier League dreams are to last more than five months. Wolves sit bottom of the table ahead of the domestic restart, having scored just eight goals in 15 matches.

But had things gone differently, the 23-year-old would have battled for a top-four finish, rather than avoiding a bottom-three finish. During ‘Act One’ of the Cristiano Ronaldo saga, the forward had made it clear that he hoped to leave before the start of his second season back at the club.

It means United are forced to look at potential alternatives to the Portuguese icon, with reports suggesting Cunha is on the radar. Speculation said the Red Devils had agreed a £42 million fee with Atleti, only for the deal to never materialise.

Wolves boss Julen Lopetegui described Cunha as a complete striker

Four months later and United remain in the market for a forward, with Ronaldo’s acrimonious departure finalized before the start of the World Cup. And Lopetegui, who has managed Real Madrid, Spain and Sevilla before Wolves – believes his new team have made a real statement in signing the Brazil international.

“I think he is a complete striker,” Lopetegui added. “He is in good shape, good skills, not only technically but physically because this is England and you have to be able to compete to defend.

“He has this profile to play here for so many years. We will help him develop his strength in the future. When the market opens, Cunha will help us.

Erik ten Hag was heavily linked with a move to take Cunha to Man Utd over the summer

“All leagues are different but football is the same. I’m talking about a special set of skills for England because one of the obvious strengths is the physical strength of the players. There are strong players.”

The decision-maker from Manchester will likely keep an eye on Cunha’s exploits in the Black Country, especially if January proves to be a frustrating month. Mirror Football understands that Cody Gakpo remains Ten Hag’s top priority for next month and talks have opened with PSV.

With the £43m fee Wolves paid in the summer, Cunha represented a significant risk. But if United go into February without further attacking reinforcements – they could regret their hesitation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *