Manchester United have ruled themselves out of signing Erling Haaland next summer after a chastening report shed light on why a deal can’t happen.
The Norwegian, 21, is set to become the subject of intense transfer speculation next summer. Haaland reportedly holds a €75m (approx. £63m) release clause within his contract that can be activated when the season ends.
That will represent a veritable bargain for a player who has operated at a goal-per-game since joining Dortmund.
All manner of teams have been linked with the marksman, including both Manchester clubs, Chelsea, Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.
United were believed to be in a reasonable position to stake their claim. The club held a prior connection when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was at the helm with their former manager Haaland’s boss when the pair were at Molde.
Furthermore, given Haaland will be in such high demand, agent Mino Raiola is expected to demand sky-high wages. The lofty sum of £480,000-per-week has been touted as a starting point in negotiations.
United have shown a willingness to sanction massive salaries in the past, most recently with the returning Cristiano Ronaldo.
Man Utd ‘turmoil’ sees Haaland slip away
However, a report from ESPN has now stated the Red Devils are no longer in the race. That notion has its roots in multiple reasons, including the ongoing ‘turmoil’ at Old Trafford.
The article states Haaland’s camp are ‘admirers’ of the previous work done by interim boss Ralf Rangnick. However, Haaland is unwilling to sign for a club once again going through a transition period.
Furthermore, United may not have Champions League football to offer next season. For a player the calibre of Haaland, that notion is a huge deterrent, with United now described as an ‘unappealing’ destination.
Instead, the article cites ‘senior United sources’ who are of the belief Haaland is destined for Real Madrid. The only other club reportedly in the mix is Manchester City, but the player ‘favours’ the Spanish switch.
United don’t believe they are in a position to convince Haaland otherwise. Though it is noted Solskjaer’s dismissal has had no effect on their chances despite the Norwegian link.
Alex Telles ready to leave Manchester United for Barcelona
Alex Telles is wanted by Barcelona and Manchester United are open to letting the left back go if a decent offer comes in
As a result, ESPN conclude United are now ready to ‘focus on alternative attacking options’. The identity of who they will target isn’t stated, though one potential option is Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele.
The French forward is in the midst of a public dispute with Barcelona and appears destined to leave as a free agent next summer.
With Cristiano Ronaldo now 37 and Edinson Cavani 34, United must begin looking to to future sooner rather than later.
Man Utd told to sanction Tottenham’s worst nightmare
Meanwhile, one pundit has told Man Utd why they must replace Ralf Rangnick with Spurs boss Antonio Conte.
Man Utd were eyeing several other managers before Rangnick’s arrival, most notably Mauricio Pochettino and Zinedine Zidane. They were also linked with Antonio Conte as Solskjaer came under pressure, although the serial winner went on to join Tottenham.
Pundit Frank McAvennie thinks United need to appoint someone similar to legendary boss Sir Alex Ferguson. And he reckons Conte should be brought in, despite the Italian’s fairly recent arrival in north London.
“What Man United need is someone like Fergie,” McAvennie told Football Insider. “They need someone who can manage everything at the club from the squad to transfers to everything else.
“It needs to be one man. It didn’t work for Fergie at first, he nearly got sacked right before it started to click. Then look what happened. The discipline was there all the way through the club.
“Can you imagine these players under Fergie? Other than Ronaldo they would all crumble.
“They needed to get Conte when they had the chance, that’s a man you build a club around. That’s exactly what he’s not getting at Tottenham so it wouldn’t surprise me if he left and joined them, quite soon as well.”