The Athletic’s David Ornstein and Laurie Whitwell believe that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could prioritise a striker over a centre-back in this summer’s transfer window, although the pair disagree with one another over who that might be.
Speaking in yesterday’s ‘Ask Ornstein’ podcast, the duo agreed that United would only have the funds for one marquee signing this summer and Whitwell believes that one player would trump everyone else if Solskjaer had the chance to sign him.
‘Erling Haaland is the one that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would have above all others, any other position, any other player,’ Whitwell said.
‘We know what happened last time with the agent demands and United saying “no” to any kind of release clause and that is now something Dortmund are having to deal with.
‘Listen, they’ve had a good run out of him for goals and assists so maybe they’ll feel it’s money well spent, they’ll make a profit on him.
‘[So] If [United] could do a deal now, I’m sure they would look to add him to the squad. He’s the player they feel they can build around for the next five or six years. But they can’t be so myopic on a player, they’ll obviously need to have alternative targets because he will be the subject of interest.
‘City’s interest is a serious one and can United compete when it comes to … funds and wages? It’d be an interesting battle.
Ornstein responded that his sources had suggested that United could take a different approach.‘Chelsea are [also] going to push for Haaland … and other clubs as well. And we don’t know whether Dortmund will do business for him this summer,’ he said.
‘A few contacts have mentioned to me that United might be slightly more interested in the Lautaro Martinez style of striker.
‘I’m not saying him specifically, but interestingly, when we reported on City, I mentioned Lukaku, I mentioned Haaland … it seems that there’s an intrigue at City about going for something slightly different this summer to what they’ve had in the past, adding a slightly different skill to their weaponry.
‘Those [contacts’] suggestions, and I don’t know how credible they are, would hint at a more quicker mobile striker [at United] and perhaps that brings Anthony Martial’s future into focus a little but, I’m not sure, but if Cavani’s still at the club, they’ve maybe already got that more target man figure.’
Whitwell, though, was adamant that Haaland was the type of striker United want. ‘I think they just want someone who’s a ruthless penalty box finisher really, someone who can link up play … all round they feel they need a striker that ruthlessly pursues goals.’
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