Barcelona and Manchester United are both reportedly interested in making a move for Gerard Moreno who enjoyed a fine 2020/21 campaign with Villarreal.
According to a report from Spanish outlet Fichajes, Villarreal forward Gerard Moreno could be a man in demand in the upcoming transfer window, with La Liga giants Barcelona set to clash with Premier League bigwigs Manchester United for the Spaniard’s signing.
Moreno is currently in his second stint with Villarreal. The 29-year-old initially signed for the Yellow Submarine back in 2010 from CF Badalona and made his first-team debut in 2014, but left the club a year later to sign for Espanyol. After spending three years back at his boyhood club, the Spanish attacker returned to El Madrigal in 2018 and has since developed into one of the most consistent forwards in La Liga.
Moreno, till date, has made 185 appearances for Villarreal, across his two stints, scoring 82 goals and setting up 27 more. The 2020/21 campaign was his best season so far as the 29-year-old plundered 30 goals and created 11 more in 46 games, playing an integral role in his team lifting the UEFA Europa League under Unai Emery.
Moreno’s form and contributions over the past year have not gone unnoticed, with Barcelona and Manchester United now taking an interest in his services. For the Catalans, the upcoming summer is one of major rebuild which has already started with the addition of Sergio Aguero on a free transfer, while Eric Garcia has also signed up from Manchester City on a Bosman.
Nonetheless, with Antoine Griezmann failing to deliver as expected and Ousmane Dembele’s precarious contract situation, signing another forward player would make a lot of sense, more so when one considers that Aguero has had a lot of injury problems over the past couple of seasons. While a move for Memphis Depay continues to be mooted, Moreno, too, would be a viable target for Ronald Koeman & co.
As for Manchester United, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are lacking a prolific No.9 at the top. Anthony Martial endured a torrid season, ending up as one of the biggest underperformers of the 2020/21 campaign while Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood have been largely used out wide. Edinson Cavani had a solid season but given his age, the Uruguayan’s game-time needs to be managed.
To that end, Manchester United are targeting a new centre-forward, with there being strong interest in the likes of Harry Kane and Erling Haaland. Moreno, though, could represent a cheaper option for the 20-time English champions, while also adding that bit of versatility and flexibility into the mix, with his ability to play anywhere across the frontline.
Apart from Barcelona and Manchester United, Atletico Madrid are also strongly interested in the 29-year-old, who still has two years left on his current contract with Villarreal. It remains to be seen if any of the interested parties do decide to make a move to try and secure the signing of Moreno come summer or look elsewhere to strengthen their attacks.