Berbatov alerts Man Utd to risks of January Haaland swoop

Date published: Saturday 7th December 2019 8:18

Former Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov has expressed his doubts over whether reported target Erling Braut Haaland would fit in with their style of play.

Haaland is one of the most in-demand strikers in Europe thanks to his blistering start to the season with RB Salzburg, with a number of top clubs lining up for his signature.

United are among the main names to be linked, with the 19-year-old having been coached by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the past at Molde.

However, Berbatov – who scored 56 goals in 149 appearances for United across a four-year spell – thinks the Red Devils’ attack has been functioning well enough for the club not to consider bringing in a new striker in January.

“Manchester United outplayed Tottenham at Old Trafford by moving the ball quickly, being aggressive and generally playing with the kind of purpose that United fans expect to see,” he told Betfair.

“The movement of Jesse Lingard, Mason Greenwood and especially Marcus Rashford was excellent and the team’s performance was a big step in the right direction.

“Rashford scored his first goal from a difficult angle and, even though Paulo Gazzaniga should have saved his shot, it gave the United striker the belief that this was his night.

“That’s why he was shooting from long-range and playing with great confidence. He confused Tottenham’s defenders with his skills, they were rattled by his pace and power, which is why Moussa Sissoko conceded the penalty in the second half.

“If United’s attacking players can perform as well as they did against Tottenham, and Anthony Martial plays to his potential when he returns from injury, then there’s no need for Ole to sign a striker in January. Bringing in a new forward at this point could even discourage the players that United already have.

“I know there’s speculation about Erling Braut Haaland coming to Old Trafford. He’s a big centre-forward, an old fashioned target man who scores tap-ins, so he would offer United something different, but they need to think carefully about how he would fit into their style of play.”


Juventus are also said to be hot on Haaland’s heels according to Tuttosport, while Borussia Dortmund are keen to take him to the Bundesliga, with Bild believing they are currently in pole position to land him for just £17m.

Berbatov has previosuly suggested another strike target for United, claiming they should look to sign the more experienced Mario Mandzukic from Juventus.

Of the Juventus striker, he said in October: “They have the talent in the young players but at the same time you need someone like Mandzukic.

“I think he is a really good football player and he hasn’t played before in England, but I hope if he comes he can straight away get into the rhythm of the Premier League.

“Zlatan Ibrahimovic was 34 years old when he signed for United and he didn’t have any problems.

“Mandzukic is a similar age and hope he could have the same impact if he signs.

“I think his age is a good thing, (Anthony) Martial, (Marcus) Rashford and (Mason) Greenwood are all young players so they need that time and assurance that they don’t need to worry and they can learn from the experience of Mandzukic.”



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