Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag reviews Bournemouth game
Over the weekend, it emerged Sheikh Jassim had approved the Glazers’ plans to crack on with Manchester United transfer business. And with a new striker on the club’s radar, Erik ten Hag is determined to sign somebody to rival Erling Haaland. The big question, however, is who exactly will touch down at Old Trafford…
Manchester United could have had Haaland. On two occasions, at least.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer proposed the Red Devils sign the Norway international during his time at Molde, only for the club to turn down a £4million deal.
And the United icon was determined to land his compatriot in January 2020, only for Borussia Dortmund to win the race for the player that year instead.
Fast-forward to now, and Ten Hag wants a new striker.
He knows Anthony Martial is too injury prone to be relied on, while there’s an expectancy Wout Weghorst will return to Burnley once his loan spell comes to an end.
Over the weekend, it was reported that the Glazers were making grand transfer plans – with the family targeting a ‘huge market assault’.
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And it was also claimed Sheikh Jassim had approved this idea, with the Qatari billionaire still hoping to seal a takeover of the club.
United have three names in the frame as they look to counter the threat of Haaland over at the Etihad Stadium.
Harry Kane appears to be their No 1 target, with the forward continuing to shine for Tottenham despite yet another drab season.
Had it not been for his 28 Premier League goals, Spurs could even have found themselves battling with Chelsea for a place in the top half of the table.
Tottenham won’t want to lose Kane, not least to a United team they deem as rivals.
But if their talisman opts to push for a move away, like he did two years ago, Daniel Levy would then have a big decision to make.
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A fee of £80million has been floated for Kane, who will have just a year left on his contract.
Yet given his age – the striker is 29 – and Tottenham being stubborn negotiators United may end up looking elsewhere.
A second player on their radar is Victor Osimhen.
The Nigeria international has been outstanding for Napoli this term, with his 23 goals helping the club win a first Serie A title since 1990.
Osimhen previously turned down a move to Old Trafford out of respect for Odion Ighalo.
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Yet he’s evolved ever since that failed move in 2020 and looks a player tailor-made for Ten Hag’s side.
Napoli won’t let their star man go without a fight, however, amid claims he could cost in the region of £100m.
And whether United would stump up that amount for a player with no Premier League experience will be something only time will tell.
The third option on the Red Devils’ radar is Juventus hitman Dusan Vlahovic.
Big things were expected of the Serbia international when he joined the Old Lady from Fiorentina in the January transfer window of 2022.
But while Vlahovic remains a formidable striker, he’s blown hot and cold during his spell in Turin so far.
United were told to land the striker during Ralf Rangnick’s time in the dugout, only for the board to decline the German’s proposal.
However, interest behind the scenes seems to remain and it’s possible United will try and strike a discounted deal at the end of the season.
Over at City, they have Haaland.
And Ten Hag knows he needs his own version of the Norway international if his side are to challenge their rivals for Premier League supremacy going forward.
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