Transfer Talk: Turin talisman Vlahovic could transform Ten Hag's United
Manchester United are reportedly hot on the trail of Juventus' Serbian sensation Dusan Vlahovic.
Frontman Wout Weghorst has already joined from Burnley on a temporary deal, while Anthony Martial has struggled with injury issues.
Erik ten Hag is therefore in need of a long-term solution at centre forward, with goal machine Vlahovic representing an enticing option.
Ahead of United's FA Cup clash with Reading, we consider how the Bianconeri's No9 would fit in at Old Trafford.
Ten Hag's targets
Weghorst and Jack Butland have joined United on loan this winter but Ten Hag is not done in the transfer market yet.
The Dutch boss, 52, has explained that the club are constantly looking for ways to bolster the squad, suggesting that the Red Devils would move again if the right opportunity presents itself.
He said: "As Manchester United, you always have to look for solutions and always you have to look for better and that is what we will do.
"We will be doing our research and if there are opportunities, we have to go for it."
The unique circumstances in which Vlahovic finds himself have created such an opportunity for both the player and United.
Juventus have been handed a 15-point deduction following an investigation into their previous transfer dealings and sit 11th in the Serie A table, 14 points off the top four.
With the Italian giants in a precarious position, the 23-year-old may be keen to look for a new home and Old Trafford is certainly an appealing destination.
Vlahovic would represent a long-term solution for Ten Hag but one with the capacity to make an immediate impact.
Injury has restricted Vlahovic to just 853 Serie A minutes across 10 appearances so far this season but the striker has made telling contributions when he has been on the field.
His six league goals in that timeframe have come at a rate of one every 142.17 minutes, averaging out at an impressive 0.63 per 90.
The 19-cap international has also demonstrated the ability to pull off a variety of finishes, scoring one header, once with his weaker right foot and four times with his left — including one penalty and two free-kicks.
Given Martial has managed just 461 minutes of Premier League football this term, United could certainly do with a free-scoring alternative.
Pulling the trigger
Vlahovic has taken 3.27 shots per 90 in Serie A this term, averaging 1.27 on target.
Both those metrics rank inside the league's top 20 and increase the likelihood of the centre forward getting on the scoresheet.
The former Fiorentina hitman's excellent off-the-ball movement results in a steady supply of big chances — eight have fallen his way so far, with the Serb netting four.
Causes for concern
Vlahovic excels in front of goal but he is not necessarily the perfect fit for Ten Hag's system.
Per 90 in Serie A, Vlahovic takes just 32.81 touches, attempting only 18.04 passes and completing 12.87.
Following the signing of Weghorst, Ten Hag revealed the qualities he looks for in a central striker.
He said: "I expect a team player and someone who can link up, a player who will do his defending work and we are really happy to sign [Weghorst]."
If Vlahovic is to be United's long-term striking solution, he will have to add more facets to his game — but he would certainly bring goals to Old Trafford in abundance.