Manchester United’s chances of signing the phenomenal Erling Haaland have virtually vanished.
The young striker is widely reported to have a €75 million (£65m) release clause to his Borussia Dortmund contract that kicks in next summer.
But with Real Madrid reportedly able to meet that amount and being the player’s preferred destination, other clubs are left with the option of tempting Dortmund with a higher amount now to steal a march on the Spanish giants, whose finances are currently stretched.
However, BVB are in no rush to sell and have slapped a prohibitive €200 million (£172m) asking price on the Norwegian’s head. AS reports they may be willing to settle at €150 million (£129m), but that has not been confirmed by any other source.
The British press believe that £150 million will be required.
This is believed to be an amount that no club except one is capable of, or willing to pay, especially when factoring in the likely exhorbitant agent fees of Mino Raiola and the salary that he is likely to demand for his player (figures in excess of £500,000 per week have been mooted).
‘Chelsea are willing to listen to offers of £40million for Abraham and his sale could help to fund a bid for Haaland,’ The Telegraph reports.
‘It is unclear whether or not Dortmund are interested in Abraham, but Chelsea are understood to have made attempts to find out whether or not the German club could be a potential destination for him.’
With Manchester City also unwilling or unable to stump up anything like the amount required, it would appear to be either Chelsea or nothing this summer.
If Chelsea fail, United will still hope that manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s history with the player, as coach at Norwegian side Molde, and his good friendship with the family will be enough to lure the 20-year-old next summer.
But with Raiola on the case, whose stated ambition is to place a player at the Bernabeu, and whose relationship with United is strained following disputes over Paul Pogba, there will be a mountain to climb.
On the one hand, it could be said that United had their chance last January when they lost out to Dortmund on a £25 million deal for the player. On the other hand, they would no doubt find themselves in the same position as the Germans now, as they would face losing their star within two years of having acquired him due to that infamous buyout clause.