Redemption arc complete as Man Utd prepare talks for huge full-back deal
Manchester United are ready to offer a new contract to Luke Shaw following his return to form, according to a report.
Shaw joined United from Southampton in 2014 as the most expensive teenager in world football. Now 26, it has been a bumpy ride, but he has established himself as one of the best left-backs in the league. What’s more, he became a crucial starter for England at Euro 2020, even scoring in the final.
It followed a season in which Shaw really got back to his best. His United career to that point had been disrupted by injuries, an infamously fractious relationship with ex-manager Jose Mourinho and inconsistent form. It prompted United to sign Alex Telles to compete for his position last October.
The way Shaw responded was impressive; he kept Telles out of the team, playing 47 times across all competitions in his busiest ever season.
As a result of his resurgence, he is now set to be rewarded with a new contract, according to the Daily Mail.
Shaw’s current contract will expire in 2023, although his club have the option to extend it by a year. United are now willing to reward him with better terms as they continue planning for a title challenge.
They have already signed England winger Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund and have agreed a deal to sign French centre-back Raphael Varane from Real Madrid.
Also on their shopping list are a defensive midfielder – especially if Paul Pogba leaves – and an attack-minded right-back such as Kieran Trippier.
The other side of defence, though, is secure with Shaw. In addition to all the new arrivals, Man Utd believe he will be key to their title challenge this season.
They have not won the top flight since Sir Alex Ferguson’s last season in charge, 2012-13. It has been too long for a club of their stature, but they believe they are heading in the right direction again under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The manager also signed a contract extension recently, as club officials put their faith in him for the future. He guided them to the Europa League final last season and is aiming for silverware this time around.
Solskjaer gives United Haaland belief
In addition, the presence of Solskjaer in the dugout has given United a “genuine” belief they can sign Erling Haaland – next year.
Haaland is one of the hottest properties in world football thanks to his goalscoring exploits with Borussia Dortmund. Since joining them from RB Salzburg in January 2020, he has scored 41 goals in 41 games. His record is astonishing and he seems a likely candidate for the Ballon d’Or in the post-Messi and Ronaldo era.
Dortmund face a battle to keep Haaland this summer while his market value is high. Next year, he will be available for the relative bargain of a €75m release clause. Were Dortmund to sell him this summer, they would be able to fetch a much higher fee. So, they must weigh up the pros and cons of keeping him for one more year or cashing in.
Whatever they decide, Haaland will remain on the agenda of many of Europe’s elite clubs. He has already been heavily linked with Chelsea, who are aiming to find a more reliable striker. There were also links with Manchester City in the past, although they are unlikely to spend big on a striker this year despite it being a position of need.
Of all the big Premier League clubs Haaland could end up at, one of the least likely would seem to be Manchester United. The striker was born in Leeds and still supports Leeds United, one of the clubs his father Alf-Inge used to play for. Another was Man City.
Rivals with both clubs, Man Utd would not seem like Haaland’s first choice if he was to move. But according to the Daily Star, the Red Devils remain interested and think they may be able to tempt him.
United tried to sign Haaland before he went to Dortmund, but it was deemed more appropriate for him to use a stepping stone. It now seems he was capable of performing at the top level all along. Hence, that transfer avenue could open up to him again.
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A recent report claimed United would be willing to offer Anthony Martial to Dortmund to sweeten a deal for Haaland. Since then, Dortmund have continued to insist that Haaland is not for sale this summer. But whenever it is time for him to move, United may have a chance.
The Daily Star claim that United’s show of faith in Solskjaer may help persuade Haaland to join. He previously played under his compatriot at Molde, where he launched his career.
After the big-money capture of Sancho from Dortmund, they may go back in for his teammate Haaland. However, the Star suggest they would wait until next summer, when his release clause is active.
Chelsea remain the favourites to sign him this summer if he does move anywhere. But if not, United will be a “genuine option”, it is claimed, for next year.
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