Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is ready to spend ‘significant sums’ this summer to sign two big-name players, claims a report.
Despite being second in the Premier League, United have conceded 30 goals in just 23 games. That is second highest in the top half, with only new boys Leeds (38) conceding more.
Indeed, their goals-against tally is already just six short of the total amount they conceded last season. That has led to plenty of criticism of skipper Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof.
As such, bringing in a new central defender this summer remains a top priority. It’s claimed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is seeking a new defender to take his side to the next level and help ensure they can push for the title.
The Manchester Evening News claims, as a result, that Woodward is prepared to back Solskjaer’s wishes.
As such, Tuesday’s Paper Talk claimed they had a new defensive target at the top of their wanted list.
Depending on who they target, a new defender could cost anything between £25m and £50m.
But it’s at the other end of the pitch that Woodward and United are ready to shatter their transfer record. Despite the impact of Edinson Cavani, the striker turns 34 this weekend.
Knowing he won’t be able to play consistently at the very top for long, United are ready to spend big to bring in a big-name striker capable of filling the role for a number of years.
While the paper does not name names, they do intimate that a move for Erling Haaland could become a priority once again for the club.
United were linked with the prolific forward last January. Having worked together at Molde, Solskjaer flew out to see the 20-year-old after he blasted 29 goals in 27 games for Red Bull Salzburg.
United though apparently baulked at agent Mino Raiola’s fee involved in the deal for Haaland. Instead the Norwegian secured a move to Borussia Dortmund for just £17.2m.
Woodward was also opposed to the insistence of Raiola that a release clause be inserted into his Old Trafford contract.
That clause has since been inserted into his deal at Dortmund. This states he can leave the Westfallonstadion in 2022 should any club match his £63m release fee.
However, it’s reported Raiola is already looking to move his client on this summer. Reports last month claimed United were ready to launch a huge nine-figure bid for the Norwegian hotshot.
While that does seem a stretch, spending upwards of £100m for Haaland cannot be ruled out. The Norwegian has continued his growth in the Bundesliga and now has 38 goals in 40 appearances for Dortmund.
That price would shatter the £89.3m United paid for Paul Pogba in 2016. But with Amad Diallo soon to take centre stage, United it seems could use the money once prioritised for Jadon Sancho.
Pundit tells United to sign Haaland
Gabriel Agbonlahor, meanwhile, reckons United could guarantee Premier League glory if they signed Haaland.
With the striker seemingly destined to move on in 2021, Agbonlaor, speaking to talkSPORT, thinks the Norwegian is the best in the world right now.
“He’s the most complete striker out there for me,” Agbonlahor said. “We’re talking about Premier League clubs wanting him; I think Bayern Munich or Real Madrid are the favourites to get him.
“I feel like Borussia Dortmund can ask for whatever they want. If you’re talking about £100million for Sancho, you’re talking £180m for Haaland.
“You’re talking ridiculous money. He’ll be the most expensive player ever when he leaves Dortmund because he’s getting better.
“He’s learning, he looks hungry. He’s not happy just to be at Dortmund and score goals, he’s trying to improve his game. He is going to get better and better.”
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