Could James Wilson's mooted loan move mean United are signing a new striker?

Why the short-term future of James Wilson could determine if Manchester United bring in a new front-man this summer.

According to a report in the Daily Mail, Manchester United are prepared to let teenage striker James Wilson go out on loan next season.

That alleged decision is said to have alerted many Premier League clubs, with Wilson rated as one of the most exciting young forwards in the country. But could it also be a sign that United intend to strengthen in that area this summer?

After all, Radamel Falcao has made little impact during his loan spell, scoring just four goals in 26 appearances to date.

With that kind of form, United are surely not going to spend tens of millions on the 28-year-old to sign him permanently. And with Robin van Persie another year older and one year from the end of his own contract, this summer would be a good time for manager Louis van Gaal to strengthen up front.

If Wilson does leave on loan, it will surely only be on the proviso that United bring in a new striker. After all, if Falcao leaves as expected – and with Javier Hernandez’s future seemingly away from the club – the 19-year-old’s temporary exit would leave only van Persie and Wayne Rooney as recognised strikers.

With Champions League football likely to be back on the agenda next season, that strength in depth is vital. So expect another busy summer for van Gaal and the United hierarchy.

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch