England forward Sancho was United’s top summer target and although a move did not materialise, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer instead signing free agent Edinson Cavani up front, United’s willingness to do a deal has not gone away.
But it is United’s interest in Norwegian striker Haaland, who Solskjaer coached during his time at Molde, which has been renewed and the 20-year-old has a £68m release clause valid in the summer of 2022 written into his Dortmund contract, The Athletic reports.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer remains interested in a deal for both Erling Haaland and Jadon Sancho
Sancho and Haaland linked up brilliantly again at the weekend for Borussia Dortmund
The report details that though Solskjaer refused to meet the financial demands of Mino Raiola – Haaland’s agent – when the forward eventually moved from RB Salzburg to Dortmund in January, United’s long-term interest remains.
The relationship between Haaland and Solskjaer is still thought to be strong, and United could pursue a move sooner than 2022 for a higher fee if his performances justify a steeper price tag.
His agent Raiola has previously had run-ins in the past with Solskjaer and United, particularly over the long-term future of Paul Pogba.
Meanwhile, despite the fact United refused to meet Dortmund’s £108m asking price for Sancho by their summer window deadline, striking a deal is still at the forefront of Ed Woodward’s mind in the near-future.
In a pursuit which was reportedly given the codename ‘Project No 7’, even though Cavani has now taken the illustrious shirt number at Old Trafford, United are still keen to strike a deal for the 20-year-old ex-Manchester City youth-team player.
A double United swoop for Haaland and Sancho could total in the region of £176million
Solskjaer retains a good relationship with Haaland despite Mino Raiola acting as his agent
A deal for both Sancho and Haaland, with the potential fees on the table, could total as much as £176m.
However, whether Dortmund decide to do business with United following the twists and turns of the Sancho saga this summer is another matter altogether.
United also lost out to Dortmund in the signing of Birmingham City’s Jude Bellingham, who has already been used regularly in the centre of the Germans’ midfield at the beginning of the new season.
Haaland, meanwhile, scored his fifth Bundesliga goal in five games as Dortmund strolled to a 3-0 win over local rivals Schalke on Saturday.
Sancho is yet to score in the German top-flight this season though he did set-up Haaland for his goal at the weekend, with the pair’s lethal partnership continuing to flourish.
Last week, former United coach Rene Meulensteen claimed the Red Devils would have done better landing a legitimate No 9 in the summer, such as Haaland, rather than chasing an overpriced deal for Sancho.
‘United need a real striker, a proper No 9, one like Erling Haaland,’ Meulensteen wrote in his column for Manchester United Supporters Club Scandinavia.
Ex-Utd coach Rene Meulensteen believes United should have pursued Haaland in the summer
‘Just look at Bayern Munich about how important a striker is for them. Ask Tottenham or Leicester what a striker means. For me, it is strange that a striker has not been the main goal for United.
‘Marcus Rashford can play striker, but he is not a typical striker. Anthony Martial can provide goals, but he is no goal scorer.
‘Now Edinson Cavani has signed but I don’t think Manchester United should look for a 33-year-old on the last day of the transfer window.’