Mandzukic on hold amid Woodward confidence over £185m double deal

Ed Woodward

Ed Woodward is reported to be inching ever closer to a sensational double raid that would take Manchester United’s January spending soaring towards the £200m mark.

Despite a summer of heavy investment, United have made a woeful start to the season and currently lie seventh but a huge 18 points adrift of league leaders Liverpool.

And while there had been reports that United were considering calling time on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer earlier in the season, some better form prior to the last international break has appeared to ease that pressure slightly.

And with Solskjaer building for the long term at Old Trafford, thoughts are already being turned towards the January transfer window and amid reports a deal for Mario Mandzukic has been put in place.

However, at 33, the veteran Croatian would only be a stop-gap signing at best and Solskjaer clearly has his eyes on the long term with a report on Monday suggesting the Norwegian has handed Woodward a list of eight ‘dream’ signings to target.

However, according to Goal, United are ‘growing increasingly optimistic’ that deals for two of those, Erling Haaland and Jadon Sancho, can be struck in January, with the pair ready to move to Old Trafford for combined fees of £185m.

As per the report, Woodward is said to have renewed hope of agreeing a £100m fee with Borussia Dortmund to bring former Man City academy man Sancho back to the North-West.

There is a growing feeling in Germany that BVB are ready to cash in on their prized asset after a number of high-profile disagreements of late, with the player recently fined and dropped by Dortmund after turning up late after international duty.

It would take a fee of around £100m – a Manchester United club record fee and a new Premier League mark – to bring the 19-year-old to the club, but it’s a fee they are said to be willing to spend given claims of rival interest from both PSG and Real Madrid.


As per the report, the Red Devils’ eight-man wish-list is headed by Red Bull Salzburg striker Haaland, whom it was reported on Thursday Solskjaer had given United the green light to try and sign.

It’s believed the Austrians are willing to sell the player for a fee of around £85m in January and amid unconfirmed reports his father, the former Man City and Leeds star Alf Inge, has been spotted at United’s training base discussing a potential deal with Solskjaer and club officials.

Should United be successful in their pursuit of Haaland, it’s believed a potential deal for Mandzukic will be scrapped, with Woodward reported to have informed the player’s representatives they will will only trigger the €10m fee needed to sign him in January if a proposed swoop for Haaland fails.

Talk of the £185m double raid comes just a day after alarming figures were published showing United’s net debt having gone through the roof.