Man Utd: What could tempt Haaland to Old Trafford?
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Manchester United and Chelsea appear to have been handed a boost in their respective pursuits of Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland, with Bayern Munich switching their focus to the capture of PSV Eindhoven’s Cody Gakpo, according to reports. The German champions have been linked with a move for Haaland, who has been tipped to leave Dortmund and join one of Europe’s elite in the near future.
The 20-year-old has established himself as one of the best young players on the planet during his time in the Bundesliga.
Since joining Dortmund from Red Bull Salzburg in January of last year, Haaland has racked up 57 goals in 59 appearances in all competitions, with his form earning plenty of links to the world’s biggest clubs.
United, Chelsea and Bayern have reportedly been keeping tabs on the forward’s situation, while the likes of Manchester City, Barcelona and Real Madrid are also believed to be keen on a move.
Haaland’s agent, Mino Raiola, met with a number of interested parties before the end of last season but it remains to be seen whether the Norway international will be sold by Dortmund ahead of the new campaign.
He remains under contract until the summer of 2024, suggesting that only a monumental nine-figure offer would be enough to force a move away from the Westfalenstadion over the coming weeks and months.
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However, United and Chelsea are both in need of additional reinforcements at the top of the pitch and could look to spend big in order to bring Haaland to the Premier League in time for next season.
Their hopes of landing the Dortmund talisman this summer have seemingly been aided by Bayern’s decision to pursue a move for PSV’s Gakpo.
The six-time European champions have contacted the player’s representatives in order to establish the possibility of a summer switch, according to AS.
Although Gakpo is primarily a wide player, scoring 41 of his 48 career goals as a winger, Bayern boss Julian Nagelsmann is reportedly planning to convert him into a central striker at the Allianz Arena.
The 33-year-old’s strategy, if successful, is likely to alleviate the club’s need for a prolific forward to help Robert Lewandowski provide the goals next season.
This could spell good news for United and Chelsea, who will have one less competitor to deal with in the battle to sign Haaland as a result.
Raiola suggested earlier this year that only the world’s richest clubs will be able to finance a move for his client this summer, with four of those playing in the Premier League.
“It is obvious that everybody is looking at Erling Haaland as one of those potential new future stars because it’s so difficult to do what he does at his age at his level,” Raiola told BBC Sport.
“He will be one of the future stars of the next decade because we see that stars such as Ibrahimovic, Ronaldo and Messi are coming to an age where everyone asks themselves: ‘How long can we still enjoy them?’.
“So everyone is looking for the new generation. Only a maximum of 10 clubs can afford to buy [Haaland] and give the platform you would like after you’ve been in Dortmund… and four of those clubs are in [England].
“I don’t think there’s a sports director or trainer in the world who would say ‘not interested’.”
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