Man Utd: What could tempt Haaland to Old Trafford?
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While Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer never took to Romelu Lukaku, it seems like the Red Devils want to sign another version of the Chelsea new boy. After all, it was the Norwegian himself who compared the Belgium international to Erling Haaland. And the Borussia Dortmund striker is their top transfer target for a year’s time.
Manchester United were initially planning on signing Haaland this summer.
After seeing the Norway international score 40 goals across all competitions last term, it’s certainly easy to see why.
However, United then changed their stance.
Originally, they’d expected to lose Edinson Cavani on a free transfer. The Uruguay international craved a return to South America, while his agent talked up a move to Boca Juniors.
But after being unleashed more in the wake of an injury to Anthony Martial, the United star then changed his mind.
Cavani stayed. And Jadon Sancho, instead of Haaland, became their No 1 transfer target for this summer’s window.
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Barring a late twist, the Red Devils aren’t expected to bolster their frontline any further. Sancho, Cavani, Mason Greenwood, Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial and Daniel James are options aplenty for the time being.
However, United do want to sign Haaland next summer instead.
The expectancy is that this year will be Cavani’s last in English football, with the 34-year-old’s dream of returning to South America still an open secret.
And Haaland is the player Solskjaer and John Murtough both believe is good enough to take on the veteran’s mantle, having watched him shine for Dortmund.
Speaking to NRK in July 2018, when he was in charge at Molde, the United boss actually compared Haaland to Lukaku.
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“He can become a top striker for sure. He reminds me of the type of striker [Romelu] Lukaku is,” he said.
“There is a lot of interest in him.
“We have had offers from good clubs this year but we rejected them. Former Champions League winners.”
It’s interesting to look at those comments now.
After all, Solskjaer barely gave Lukaku a chance during their time together at United – using the Belgium international off the bench for the most part.
That, in the end, helped contribute to the player’s departure.
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United had signed Lukaku for £75million in the summer transfer window of 2017 after missing out on Antoine Griezmann, who opted to remain with Atletico Madrid.
Initially, things went well.
The Belgian netted 28 times across all competitions for the club, showing he was more than up for the task of leading the Red Devils’ attack.
But that number dropped to 16 the following year, with Lukaku struggling for form under both Solskjaer and Jose Mourinho.
United have replaced him with Mason Greenwood without spending a single penny.
But Haaland is the one they really want to lead them in the years ahead and, next summer, a transfer could materialise.
There will be hurdles of course.
Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea and potentially Paris Saint-Germain will rival United for the signing of Haaland next term.
And then there’s the obstacle of Mino Raiola, who will likely make things as difficult as possible to get the best deal for his client. That is his job, after all.
So whether United succeed in landing another Lukaku in Haaland is something that only time will eventually tell.
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