Manchester United could be set to launch an ambitious player-plus-cash deal to sign Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland.
The Red Devils have been linked with a move for the hugely talented 21-year-old in the past, but their interest appeared to die down as they concentrated on securing the signature of Haaland’s former teammate Jadon Sancho.
After completing the £73m signing of the Englishman, United no longer have the funds to sign the Norway international this summer and are thinking of creative ways to bring him to Old Trafford, according to Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo.
As outlined in the report, one possible option which is being considered by the United hierarchy is to offer Anthony Martial as part of the deal in order to reduce Dortmund’s asking price.
However, the German side have already made it clear to Chelsea that they would not accept any players as part of the deal to offload Haaland, so United may need to move on to other targets.
Haaland has established himself as one of football’s brightest young talents since arriving at Signal Iduna Park back in January 2020, scoring an incredible 57 goals in 59 appearances for BVB.
His outstanding displays have caught the eye of the continent’s top clubs and earned praise from several plaudits, including former Arsenal legend Thierry Henry, who said when appearing as a pundit on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football (via Daily Mail): “He doesn’t care about anything other than the goal.
“Other players will go on the wing – he wants to stay within the frame of the net. Between the two posts, he knows he is lethal. He’s so powerful, by the way. He just wants to run in behind, and the way he finishes is ridiculous. The ability that he has: he believes so much in himself, and I like that.”
The Norway international is expected to cost any potential suitor around £150m in the current window and is contracted to Dortmund until 2024.
Having said that, there is set to be a scramble for his services in 12 months’ time when a £68m release clause comes into play, meaning that Haaland will be available in a cut-price deal.
The bargain price is likely to spark a bidding war for the Scandinavian beast next summer, so departing chief executive Ed Woodward must swoop for the clinical goalscorer before it becomes active.
Reuniting Haaland and Sancho at Old Trafford would provide United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with a forward line capable of rivaling any in world football and would surely propel the club towards winning major trophies once again.
It remains to be seen whether Dortmund would be enticed by the prospect of receiving Martial in part-exchange, but the France international is a top-class player on his day and a proven Premier League goalscorer, and his inclusion could convince the Bundesliga outfit to do business.