Paul Scholes has revealed how much he believes Manchester United would be willing to pay to land top striker target Erling Haaland this summer.
The Red Devils are one of a number of top clubs considering a move for the Norwegian, although Dortmund’s huge asking price of more than £100million is likely to prove financially prohibitive for a number of those teams.
Scholes believes United need to bolster their attack by signing a new No.9, having failed to properly replace Romelu Lukaku.
The Old Trafford legend said: “That’s why they haven’t competed for the big trophies, really, since Wayne Rooney’s gone, since brilliant centre-forwards have gone. Manchester United is always about players at the top end of the pitch being able to score goals.
“I’m not sure what the Liverpool lads did – but it must be 60 or 70 goals between them. But United haven’t had that for a long time. They always have one who seems to get close to 20. I know Marcus Rashford has done it for a couple of years and I think they’ve got the potential to have that.
“Mason Greenwood’s still a young player, so in the next couple of years, I think he should be capable of that. Anthony Martial, I always think he should be capable of that, but I do think they’re desperate for that number nine.
“Haaland is the obvious one, Harry Kane, these types of players. Will they come to Manchester United at this time? Will Manchester United pay the money for them? I think they can but it’s up to them (Haaland and Kane) – what club they will choose. I think the two of them will have the choice of any club in Europe.”e
Scholes is also of the opinion that United would face little competition for Haaland, due to Dortmund’s asking price. However, the 20-year-old will be available for a much lower fee in 2022 due to a buy-out clause in his contract.
On the prospect of United splashing out £150m on Haaland, Scholes added: “I think they probably would, yeah.
“If it meant getting Haaland, then yeah, why not? I think it’s about the club that could pay for him now. I don’t think there’s too many.
“You think of Real Madrid and Barcelona – all the noises you hear – they probably couldn’t pay the money. Man City don’t look like they want to pay the money.
“To be fair, Guardiola very rarely plays with a number nine anyway, even when he’s had Aguero and Jesus fit, he’s hardly played them. So is that the kind of player Guardiola wants? I’m not sure it is.
“Look, it’s a player Man United are desperate for, Chelsea will be desperate for – they’re probably the two clubs I think that could afford him this summer.”
Haaland taking measured approach to next club
Scholes’ BT Sport colleague Owen Hargreaves added that he believes Haaland will carefully weigh up all his options before making a decision over his future.
The former United midfielder said: “The interesting thing is: he’s taken real considered steps, hasn’t he, from where he’s been.
“He wanted to go to Molde because they had one of the best academies. Then he wanted to go to Salzburg, then he wanted to go to Dortmund, so he’s considered every step.
“He’s had options all the way. This feels like it’s definitely not about the money, it’s about getting the right fit.
“What is the right fit for him? Is it a team that plays like Man City, United? Everybody could need him, Chelsea could need him. Barca, could he go there, to help keep Messi? I can’t think of a player this young that has been wanted by everyone.”