Manchester United are monitoring Karou Mitoma’s development at Brighton as Erik ten Hag plans for life after Anthony Martial at Old Trafford.
Mitoma, 25, made his debut for Brighton in August having joined a year earlier from Japanese side Kawasaki Frontale for just £2.7m.
The playmaker has scored nine goals and provided six assists since Graham Potter’s departure on the south coast.
The Japan international has thrived under Roberto De Zerbi and is now a regular starter for the Seagulls, who are an outside bet to finish in the top four.
Ten Hag remains a fan of Martial but the Frenchman’s injury record this season has left United light up front, with the forward making just 12 appearances this term.
The Dutchman has therefore reluctantly decided to cash in on the former Monaco man and he will seek a traditional centre forward to replace him.
While Mitoma is not that, his ability to play across the front appeals to Ten Hag and the Sun says United are keeping a close eye on his development.
Brighton would be reluctant to cash in on Mitoma at this stage but they’ve shown with Ben White and Marc Cucurella that they will sell at the right price.
United’s main focus will be on signing a centre forward and that move is expected to eat into Ten Hag’s budget.
Harry Kane and Victor Osimhen are both targets and would cost around £100m.
United will cash in on the likes of Anthony Elanga in a bid to raise funds and the Swede has attracted interest from Bundesliga giants Dortmund.