The Frenchman is said to want to explore his options, which has alerted both Barcelona and Manchester United.
According to the French outlet (via Sportsmole), Lihadji feels he is ready for first-team action after impressive performances with the Olympique Marseille academy.
The youth star has been featuring in Marseille’s pre-season so far, and even came off the bench at half-time in the French side’s 8-1 win over DC United.
Reports surrounding Lihadji would further strengthen Manchester United’s current stance on youth players. Youngsters have featured heavily in this summer’s pre-season action, with all nine of the goals from the tour of Australia, Singapore and Shanghai being scored or assisted by an academy player.
Out wide was a considerable weakness for Manchester United last season, with Jesse Lingard, Alexis Sanchez and Anthony Martial all underperforming. The trio combined for just 19 goals in all competitions. In comparison, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who played on the wing under Unai Emery at times last season, scored 31 goals on his own – a striker that had been linked with a move to Old Trafford by FC Inter News.
Manchester United were linked with a move for the Arsenal-bound Nicolas Pepe, however, failed to secure a deal. And with the current wing options not quite up to standard and time running out in the transfer window, youngster Isaac Lihadji could be the best option.
Described by L’Equipe as an “amazing dribbler” and “the next big name” (via SPORT), Lihadji has just one year left on his current contract with Marseille and would be relatively cheap. And with Ole Gunnar’s Solskjaer’s keenness to work with youth players he fits the criteria the Norwegian is looking for.
Manchester United have taken a new path this season with Nicky Butt being promoted to the role of head of first-team development. A stronger emphasis has been placed on youth, and while Lihadji may not have been a prime target, he represents good business for the club.
Manchester United fans, could Lihadji improve the side out wide? Tell us what you think below!
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