United let both Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez leave during the summer, but injuries to Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford since then have left 17-year-old Mason Greenwood as the only available striker, highlighting a current lack of depth.
In the second year of a loan at Atalanta from Sampdoria, Zapata has enjoyed a prolific start to the season by netting five times in six Serie A games to jointly lead the top scorer race. Add that to the 28 goals he managed in all competitions last season
90min understands that United scouts have watched Zapata in action and could make an approach in January, although he is one a number of possibilities to explore.
Zapata is due to turn 29 years of age in April and can perhaps be considered a late bloomer. He came close to joining West Ham earlier in his career, but it is over the last 18 months or so that the America de Cali and Estudiantes player has found his goalscoring boots.
90min also understands United that there is substance behind the rumours that emerged from Italy earlier this month about interest in Brescia teenager Sandro Tonali. The 19-year-old midfielder, again one of many players currently being monitored from Old Trafford, is a more obvious fit for the club’s new-look transfer policy that focuses on unearthing young talents.
90min further understands that United also had eyes on another player in the Serie A clash between Sandro Tonali’s Brescia and Juventus last week. Juve themselves are also thought to be interested in Tonali, while Paris Saint-Germain are linked as well.