Manchester United’s hopes of securing a deal with Netherlands international Wout Weghorst lie in the hands of Besiktas after the Turkish club rejected reports that its loan deal from Burnley contained a break clause.
Weghorst has emerged as a January target for United and Erik ten Hag is looking to bring in another striker to ease the burden on Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Weghorst, 30, joined Burnley from Wolfsburg for £12m last January but was allowed to leave on loan in the summer after the Clarets were relegated on the final day of the Premier League.
The 6ft 6in striker has scored nine goals in 18 games for Besiktas this season, including Saturday’s 2-1 Super Lig victory over Kasimpasa.
He seemed to be waving goodbye to the club’s supporters after this game, but the Istanbul club is not yet ready to let him go.
A statement from the club on Monday read: “The claim that there is an exit clause in our player’s contract stating that his contract may be terminated with compensation of €2.5m (£2.2m) in the event of an offer from Premier League is fictional.
“The news that the player in question will leave the team on Tuesday is completely untrue. The Wout Weghorst initiative belongs entirely to Besiktas.
Besiktas would like compensation before allowing Weghorst’s loan to be terminated early, especially as their deal with Burnley included a buy option.
United are looking at the loan market to bring in an extra player after spending over £200m in the summer.
United have until noon on Friday to complete a deal if any new signings are to qualify for Saturday’s Manchester derby against neighboring City.
The lack of depth in the attacking squads will weigh in on Ten Hag’s selection decisions for Tuesday’s Carabao Cup quarter-final at home to Charlton.
With the derby looming, Ten Hag must manage their resources carefully after being told on Friday night that Anthony Martial does not currently have the fitness level needed to play every few days.
Bruno Fernandes is suspended and his natural replacement Donny van de Beek is injured while Jadon Sancho is unavailable as he continues training alone on his way back to full fitness.
Even without key players, United will be clear favorites against mid-table opponents in League One looking to progress to the last four.
The League Cup was the last trophy United lifted in 2017 before signing Diogo Dalot and the Portugal defender is desperate to fix that.
“I think winning trophies, winning things must be an obsession for us,” the 23-year-old said at a fan press conference on Monday.
“I think you feel even more than me, you’ve been here longer than me, that we have to win. This club is about winning trophies.
“It’s about competition and fighting for every trophy we’re in. And this Carabao (Cup) is not less than the Champions League, than the Europa League. Of course it’s a different dimension, but for us it’s a trophy and we want to win it.