Man United ‘turn attention to £49.6m double transfer swoop’ after Marko Arnautovic backlash

Manchester United have turned their attention to Cody Gakpo and Sasa Kalajdzic after deciding to cool their interest in Marko Arnautovic.

The Red Devils had been keen to pursue a left-field bolt-from-the-blue transfer for the former West Ham and Stoke City bad boy, before the intervention of supporters who fiercely vetoed the signing.

United had even tabled a £7.2million bid for the 33-year-old, an offer that was turned away by Italian club Bologna.

The Old Trafford hierarchy were said to be considering an improved offer before eventually opting to walk away from the negotiating table to pursue other targets.

Now The Times are reporting that Gakpo and Kalajdzic are the two names in their crosshairs as John Murtough bids to provide Erik ten Hag with some additional options in attack.

Ten Hag decided to field Christian Eriksen as a makeshift false-nine for the opening day of the season defeat to Brighton last Sunday, a call that has prompted further transfer activity.

Ten Hag knows Gakpo well from his time in Holland and the 23-year-old was on target as PSV beat Ajax 2-1 in the KNVB Cup final last season.

The Netherlands international can play in multiple positions across the frontline and he is widely considered to be among the best young talents in European football.

Meanwhile, a whole host of clubs have expressed interest in Stuttgart centre-forward Kalajdzic, who is yet to sign a new contract with the German club.

That’s why Stuttgart are expected to consider a sale before the transfer window closes, although a new contract has not yet been ruled out for Arnautovic’s international team-mate.

The 25-year-old endured an injury-hit season last term having previously fired 16 goals in 33 Bundesliga matches during the 2020/21 campaign.

Standing at 6ft 7inches, the target man would provide an alternative option in attack for Ten Hag, particularly if United were forced to chase a game.

Kalajdzic is thought to be open to a Premier League move having also caught the eye of Brighton, Southampton and West Ham among others.

United are keen to sign a new striker regardless of Cristiano Ronaldo’s future with the Portuguese veteran still keen to explore a move elsewhere.

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