Man Utd’s stance on Erling Haaland as Man City, Chelsea & Real Madrid track player

Man Utd’s stance on Erling Haaland as Man City, Chelsea & Real Madrid track player

Manchester United are unlikely to land Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland this summer as they are described as ‘reluctant’ to enter a bidding war for the Norwegian prodigy. Manchester City, meanwhile, remain favourites for his signature ahead of Chelsea and Real Madrid.

Haaland has proved he is no one-season wonder and has followed up 44 goals in a breakout 2019/20 campaign with 31 in 29 appearances across all competitions so far in 2020/21. He also hit the 20-goal milestone in the Champions League in midweek, reaching it in only 14 games.

The 20-year-old represents an investment for the long-term, as well as the present, because of his age and potential to improve even more. He is therefore expected to be the most in-demand big name player this summer.

90min has already established that Manchester City consider themselves to be favourites in the race for Haaland’s signature. A striker is their main priority in the transfer market, ahead of even pursuing Lionel Messi, and they have been in touch with the Haaland camp since he was still in Norway.

Haaland’s father, Alf-Inge, of course used to play for City during his own career and Erling was a fan a of the club growing up, even after his dad had retired and left Manchester.

Even though Haaland only joined Dortmund from Red Bull Salzburg in January 2020, there is a feeling among his suitors that he is already prepared to move on and take the next step.

Erling HaalandErling Haaland
Clubs believe Haaland could be ready leave Dortmund already | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Chelsea are also interested, which initially came as a surprise given their substantial investment in Kai Havertz, Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech last year. But sources have confirmed to 90min that the Blues have got a deal ready to offer Haaland, while City are hopeful that his decision to join Dortmund over Manchester United is evidence that he is not driven by money.

The Daily Mail writes that Real Madrid are also on Haaland’s tail, although United are unlikely to resurrect an approach of their own because of the transfer fee that would be involved.

The Mail talks of a £90m release clause in Haaland’s contract. But that differs from the €75m (£64m) clause widely thought to active from 2022, while Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke has previously dismissed there being a clause of any sort that is active any sooner.

It suggests that whatever the price for Haaland will be this summer is uncapped, potentially quickly spiralling if multiple clubs – City, Chelsea, Real Madrid – start bidding.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has worked with Haaland beforeOle Gunnar Solskjaer has worked with Haaland before
Man Utd are interested but wary of a bidding war with other clubs | Alex Livesey – Danehouse/Getty Images

United wanted to sign the youngster from Salzburg last season when his price capped by a €20m release clause. The Old Trafford club hoped his pre-existing relationship with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer from their time together at Molde would help seal the deal, but he chose Dortmund where the project carried greater appeal and he was more likely to play with less competition.

United still need a new striker, especially if Edinson Cavani is to leave this summer, but other positions are also a priority. A new centre-back to better balance the current defence alongside Harry Maguire is a must, while United are hopeful they will be able to land Jadon Sancho for less than Dortmund were quoting last summer because of the financial circumstances.

But United themselves haven’t been immune from the impact of the pandemic and will almost certainly not have the resources to land three major signings this year.

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