Manchester United have decided that Borussia Dortmund hitman Erling Haaland will be their top priority this summer as they look to sign a new centre-forward.
United find themselves incessantly linked with every striker on the planet these days, with the likes of Eintracht Frankfurt’s Andre Silva and Tottenham’s Harry Kane two of the latest names to be churned out of the rumour mill.
Signing a new striker is high on the to-do list at Old Trafford, with United unsure whether Anthony Martial or Edinson Cavani have what it takes to be a reliable starting striker, and since the appointment of John Murtough as director of football, talks have stepped up over potential targets.
According to the Manchester Evening News, talks quickly centred on Haaland, and along with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, club officials made the decision to raise the him right to the top of their list of priorities.
United wanted Haaland in January 2020 but eventually missed out to Dortmund, who parted with just £17m to sign him and now stand to make an enormous profit.
Dortmund are understood to want over £100m to part ways with their superstar striker this summer, while some reports suggest that fee could end up coming closer to the £150m mark, and any buying side will also have to factor in his wage demands of around £350,000 per week.
There is also interest from mainland Europe, with new Barcelona president Joan Laporta keen to build his squad around Haaland and Real Madrid long tipped to try and move for the striker if they can find the funds.
United’s pursuit of Haaland is also expected to impact their search for a new centre-back. There is plenty of money in the transfer budget, although not enough to cover blockbuster signings in both positions.
If United do splash out on Haaland, it would limit the funds available for other reinforcements, meaning a £70m deal on someone like Sevilla’s Jules Kounde would be off the table.
While some at United have concerns about dealing with agent Mino Raiola, who has regularly taken digs at the club over their treatment of Paul Pogba and was blamed for the collapse of the initial move for Haaland last year, there are hopes that the striker’s relationship with Solskjaer will help make negotiations easier.