Mino Raiola might be taking Erling Haaland’s dad on a tour of Europe’s top clubs to hear their pitches for the young superstar, but Manchester United are not impressed.
According to The Athletic’s Tom Worville, following their long-term pursuit of Haaland, the Red Devils have now decided to pursue other options and have taken a step back from the circus that his agent Raiola is cranking into motion.
‘With reports suggesting [Edinson] Cavani, who is 34 already, could head home to South America at the end of his short-term contract this summer, United need a longer-term solution up front,’ Worville writes.
‘Haaland would pair well with Bruno Fernandes. The Portugal midfielder’s high-risk, high-reward passing would benefit from someone with the speed and intelligent movement of Haaland and also offer a way of easing the scoring burden on his own shoulders.
‘However, United are thought to have cooled their interest in Haaland, focusing more on finding someone to play on the right wing and a new centre-back partner for Harry Maguire.’
It is not clear from the article where Worville has got this information from. Most reporters have understood the situation to be the reverse: earlier in the season, with Cavani, Martial and Greenwood all striking options but the defence leaking goals, the priorities were the right wing and centre back positions. But Martial’s poor form, Cavani’s rumoured departure, defensive improvements and Nemanja Matic’s poor form appear to have shifted priorities to the striker and defensive midfielder roles. Or so we thought.
It is hard to doubt The Athletic, an outlet with some of the country’s top football journalists and plenty of good sources within the club. But very few fans would agree that Jadon Sancho would be a greater priority than Erling Haaland at this stage.
With Pep Guardiola insisting that Manchester City cannot pay the kind of fees being floated for the Norwegian, Real Madrid prioritising the purchase of Kylian Mbappe and Barcelona in over a billion Euros of debt, United would surely be in with a chance if they throw their hat in the ring for him this summer.