If he could only sign one player for Manchester United, Gary Neville says that he would acquire Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund.
United are expected to spend in the summer transfer window, though how extensive that investment will be depends on a number of factors, including whether they secure Champions League football and the coronavirus pandemic.
MEN Sport understands that the club will prioritise a centre-back partner for Harry Maguire, with Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane named as a potential option as he nears the final year of his contract. United are also considering making a move for a striker this summer.
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is still in touch with Borussia Dortmund striker Haaland, having managed him at Molde before trying to bring Haaland to the Reds last season. And the Norwegian is Neville’s number one choice for United this summer.
In a Q&A on Twitter, the former United right-back was asked which one player he would sign for United if he had the power. Simply and powerfully, Neville replied: ‘Haaland’.
Haaland, of course, was very close to signing with United a little over a year ago.
After exploding onto the scene with an incredible six months at RB Salzburg, scoring 16 goals in 14 league games and an incredible eight goals in six Champions League group-stage games, Dortmund and United chased the Norwegian sensation.
However, Haaland decided to join Dortmund, believing that his career would be better served by joining the German club who are renowned for their development of young players.
Since signing with Dortmund, Haaland has scored a ridiculous 43 goals in 45 appearances in all competitions, of which 39 were starts. Most impressively, he does not turn 21 until this summer.
Solskjaer was asked about the prospect of signing a striker this week and he did not rule it out.
“We’re always looking to improve our squad, of course we are,” Solskjaer said. “I would never ever start to think the way you think about Edinson turning 35 next year because he’s just turned 34.
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Manchester United were denied a penalty in controversial fashion against Chelsea in the Premier League on Sunday.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his players were furious that Callum Hudson-Odoi wasn’t penalised for a handball, as they had to settle for a 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge. The point leaves United 12 points behind leaders Man City, with Crystal Palace the next opponents.
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“You and I have different mentalities – that’s a completely different way of thinking. And I always say with Mason, Anthony and Edinson, when we can really get them firing that means we’re a very good team. But we’re always looking at better players, of course we are.”
How likely a move for Haaland is this summer comes down to finances. But the sensational striker is top of Neville’s list, and given his goals and United’s needs, it is for good reason.