Manchester United are prepared to go head-to-head with Manchester City in the race to land Erling Braut Haaland from Borussia Dortmund this summer, Manchester Evening News reports.
The Red Devils are currently second in the Premier League standings, but there is a significant 14-point gap between them and runaway leaders Manchester City.
The club have vastly improved on their defensive displays as the season has progressed and the main concern has been in the final third of the pitch.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have played a number of draws since the turn of the year and the hierarchy have acknowledged that they need a new striker.
The club’s new football director John Murtough and Solskjaer have identified Haaland as their top priority to fill the void left by Romelu Lukaku’s exit in 2019.
Haaland is one of the most sought-after strikers in world football at the moment and he has netted a staggering 31 goals from just 30 games for Dortmund this term.
The Norwegian has been linked with a Premier League move over the past few months and the Cityzens are rated as favourites to land his signature.
United are aiming to beat their cross-city rivals to the 20-year-old and are hopeful that Solskjaer’s close association with the striker will benefit them.
Solskjaer managed Haaland previously at Molde and the Red Devils boss recently admitted that he is still in contact with the young centre-forward.
Ultimately, Haaland’s super-agent Mino Raiola could play a big role in a transfer, given the Italian may command a significant sum as brokerage fees.
United’s relationship with Raiola has deteriorated with the 53-year-old often talking up Paul Pogba’s potential departure from the club.
Meanwhile, Cityzens boss Pep Guardiola also has a strained relationship with him, and only time will tell where Haaland will join if he leaves Dortmund.
M.E.N claims that Haaland has a release clause worth £68 million in his contract, but that only becomes active at the end of the 2021/22 campaign.
It is reported that Dortmund may demand a much higher fee to sanction Haaland’s sale in the next transfer window.
Elsewhere, it is revealed there is a £90m buy-out clause on the player’s contract and he could be signed this summer if any club pays the fee outright.
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