Man Utd handed Erling Haaland transfer boost as Barcelona stance suggests three-horse race

  Erling Haaland is widely expected to leave Borussia Dortmund at the end of the season but the race for his signature is far from over. Man...

 

Erling Haaland is widely expected to leave Borussia Dortmund at the end of the season but the race for his signature is far from over.

Manchester United could be one of just three genuine contenders in the hunt for Borussia Dortmund talisman Erling Haaland this summer, according to reports. The Red Devils have been heavily linked with the 20-year-old in recent months, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer desperately in need of a top-class striker to lead the line ahead of a renewed Premier League title bid next season.
Haaland has established himself as one of the most prolific forwards in world football since joining Dortmund from Red Bull Salzburg in January of last year.

He has scored 49 goals from 50 appearances in all competitions for the Bundesliga outfit, and will be looking to add yet another positive contribution against Manchester City in Tuesday evening's Champions League quarter-final clash at the Etihad Stadium.

The Norway international's immediate future is far from certain, with United said to be facing stiff competition from City, Chelsea, Barcelona and Real Madrid in the race for his signature.

A release clause of around £64m, set to come into effect at the end of next season, is written into his contract but it appears likely that his next destination could be decided during the upcoming summer transfer window.

Recent reports have claimed that Real are simply feigning an interest in Haaland in order to drive up his price to hurt the pockets of their rivals, suggesting that Los Blancos will not pursue a move in the coming months.
Barcelona's chances of landing the youngster also appear to be fading quickly, potentially leaving United, Chelsea and City as the last ones standing before the window has even opened.

Club chiefs are not convinced that a successful approach for Haaland will be possible this summer, according to ESPN.

The player's agent Mino Raiola and father Alf-Inge Haaland travelled to Spain last week to meet with Barca president Joan Laporta, who is said to have come away from their conversation with a keen interest in agreeing a deal.

However, the report claims that it will be 'very difficult' for Barca to afford the move as a result of their desperate financial situation.
Real Madrid and Barcelona appear unlikely to land the 20-year-old (Image: GETTY)

It remains to be seen whether United, City or Chelsea will be able to swoop in and secure Haaland's services this summer with all things suggesting that Real and Barca will not be at the front of the queue.

The Red Devils are aiming to add at least one new attacker with veteran striker Edinson Cavani likely to call time on his Old Trafford career upon the expiry of his one-year deal at the end of the season.

Solskjaer admitted last month that he remains in regular contact with Haaland after the pair spent time together at Molde, while refusing to rule out his interest in a summer reunion.

"When you have had kids and players come through as a coach, you follow them and I keep in touch with Erling," the United boss told reporters.

"It's great to see him become the player he has become. I know he will work to improve all the time.

"He's a Dortmund player and we just wish him well there and let's see what life will bring later on."

Meanwhile, City find themselves in a similar situation ahead of the impending departure of Sergio Aguero, who has opted against signing a new contract with the Premier League champions-elect.

Chelsea's need for a striker is not quite as urgent but Thomas Tuchel will undoubtedly be hoping to improve his array of options at the top of the pitch this summer.

Veteran striker Olivier Giroud is approaching the end of his career at 34 years of age, while Timo Werner and Tammy Abraham have struggled to impress under the German manager's guidance.

As a result, he has been forced to deploy Kai Havertz as a makeshift centre-forward on a number of occasions since taking over from Frank Lampard in January.

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