Manchester United choose two new transfer priorities as ‘Erling Haaland interest cools’

Man Utd: What could tempt Haaland to Old Trafford?

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Manchester United now want a right-winger and centre-back more than Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland, according to reports. The Norway international has been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford ahead of the summer transfer window. But it’s now been claimed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has other ideas in mind.

United want to take transfer action this summer.

Solskjaer has overseen a positive season at Old Trafford, with the club on course to finish second in the Premier League table.

And they also remain in contention to win the Europa League as they hunt a first trophy since 2017, back when Jose Mourinho was manager.

United have deep, long-standing interest in Haaland – who has scored 31 goals in the Bundesliga and Champions League combined this term.

Yet, now, The Athletic say the Red Devils have cooled their interest with other priorities in mind.

United want to sign a centre-back to go alongside Harry Maguire at the back, with Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly blowing hot and cold over the course of the campaign so far.

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Raphael Varane has emerged as a top target for the Red Devils, with interest in the France international dating back to the Sir Alex Ferguson era.

Varane could leave Real Madrid for a new challenge elsewhere this summer and United would like to bring him to Old Trafford as a result.

Other players linked have included Ben White, who has flourished at Brighton ever since returning from a successful loan spell at Leeds.

And Jules Kounde is also admired over at the Theatre of Dreams amid his fine showings for Sevilla.

United also want a right-winger.

And that suggests they could go back in for Jadon Sancho, despite missing out on the Borussia Dortmund star three times in the past.

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Jose Mourinho tried to land the England international at 2017, when the player was leaving Manchester City, yet was unsuccessful due to Dortmund’s promise of first-team football.

Solskjaer targeted Sancho in 2019 but that pursuit failed because of their failure to qualify for the Champions League.

And, just last summer, United were priced out of a deal after Borussia Dortmund demanded a huge £108million for their prized asset.

Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has now insisted the club will listen to ‘exceptional’ offers for Sancho, giving United hope of signing him in the process.

He said: “I’m not getting involved in probabilities, it’s no good.

“Jadon Sancho has been with us much longer than Erling Haaland. We’ll have to speak to Jadon too. If there is an exceptional offer, we will discuss it with the player and the agent, as always.

“Nonetheless, I am very sure that the transfer market will only run to a very limited extent this summer.

“Especially at the very big clubs, you can see what kind of wounds coronavirus has inflicted – and they are not small ones that heal within two weeks.”

Solskjaer has, however, warned fans not to expect a busy transfer window while the coronavirus crisis rumbles on.

“[The pandemic] is definitely affecting everyone in football. Of course the lack of income, the finances have affected everyone,” he said.

“We have to be realistic and responsible in the way we do our business both on and off the pitch. There are improvements on the training ground, stadium – we have to look at the whole picture.

“Where can we spend the money? And how much is there? It’s just the real world now. It has changed.”

He then added: “You can look at it different ways [with a] rebuild. We also have players in the academy that we now can maybe give opportunities.

“All clubs in the world are going through the same situation so it’s no different for other clubs than for us. I think there’s just going to be less and less transfers happening in the world of football with all these changes.”

With United cooling interest in Haaland, Manchester City, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Barcelona could now sign the Norway international instead.

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