Pursuit of Erling Haaland | The Weekly Round-Up (8th of April – 14th of April, 2021)

Hey reader, welcome to The Weekly Round-Up. Here you can catch a glimpse of all the transfer news throughout the last week. Our aim is to keep you up to date with all of the reliable news regarding Manchester United, so you don’t miss a thing.

Manchester United had a good week results-wise, registering a crucial 2-0 victory over Granada in the Europa League quarter-final away from home. It only got sweeter after they came from behind to win 3-1 against Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League.

It was a busy week off the field too, with a lot of news around Erling Haaland, Harry Kane, Jadon Sancho, Pau Torres, Raphael Varane, to name a few, along with updates on the contract situation of Edinson Cavani, Paul Pogba and Ole Gunnar Solskjær. Let’s not waste any more time and dive right into it.


Erling Haaland

This week, it was further reiterated that Haaland would be United’s prime target this summer – if a proposed deal for him would be financially viable. David Ornstein and Laurie Whitwell from The Athletic shed light on this, mentioning the fact that Manchester United do not want to enter into a long drawn transfer saga for the player. They will assess whether he’s a viable option financially, and will move on to pursue other centre-forward targets if that’s not the case.

Furthermore, Rob Dawson of the ESPN mentioned how Manchester United were never comfortable with the terms put forward by Mino Raiola and Erling Haaland’s father while negotiating for the player before he joined Borussia Dortmund in January 2020. Their demands included a release clause, which would have given them full control to do things like the recent roadshow in Spain for potential suitors – something which didn’t surprise Manchester United insiders at all.

Harry Kane

Last week, The Athletic broke the news that Harry Kane would push to leave Tottenham if they didn’t qualify for the Champions League next season, also mentioning that Manchester United and Manchester City are the clubs most likely to provide him with that avenue. It also mentioned that United would consider Kane as an alternative to Haaland if there was a way to offer players in part exchange to bring down the potential asking price.

This was confirmed by David Ornstein and Laurie Whitwell again, mentioning that Kane is next on the list of Manchester United’s centre-forward targets after Haaland, but they also added that United will not do business at the proposed £120M price point mooted within the industry, not to mention dealing with Daniel Levy will be all the more difficult given he’ll be determined to not sell to a rival English club.

Jadon Sancho

Although there’s been a fair amount of hue and cry around trying to ascertain the degree of Manchester United’s interest in Sancho for next summer, it has been pretty much the same for a long period of time now – the situation being he’s still a player of interest, and United would consider a deal depending on the asking price. What’s changed is that he’s not a priority target like last summer. David Ornstein reiterated this as well, adding that wages and agent fees won’t be as much of an issue given they have already been agreed previously.

This was further followed up MEN reiterating the same, saying that Manchester United have not ruled out a potential move for Sancho this summer, given the apparent willingness on Dortmund’s part to do a deal for him. Another interesting tidbit mentioned was that Borussia Dortmund had actually lined up Amad Diallo as a replacement for Jadon Sancho.

Considering Declan Rice as a part of any deal for Jesse Lingard?

There have always been lukewarm reports about Manchester United’s interest in Declan Rice as a player – but nothing about how big of a priority signing him is or if they were even going to consider the same. Last week, we had Roshane Thomas and Laurie Whitwell of The Athletic break the story that Manchester United would consider signing Declan Rice as a part of any deal for Jesse Lingard (who they value at £25M as things stand). The prospective signing will also depend on what progress they make on targets for other positions. Declan Rice is viewed as a long term replacement for Nemanja Matic.

We also had Samuel Luckhurst of MEN mentioning the fact that Manchester United are the front-runners to sign Declan Rice, who is also interested in a move. He has also talked about some aspects of the club to Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw during the international break. United’s chances of getting Rice could potentially depend on West Ham qualifying for the Champions League though, which could strengthen their potential stance on retaining the player. It was also mentioned that United are in the market for a midfielder given Paul Pogba will enter the final year of his contract next season.

David Ornstein also mentioned that Jesse Lingard has too much love for Manchester United to run down his contract and move as a free agent, making it more probable that he’ll leave this summer for a fee, or maybe even sign a new contract and then end up being sold. His future, as per James Cooper of Sky Sports, will also depend on the role or number of games he’ll be offered.

The centre-back situation

Manchester United definitely are looking at recruiting a centre back in the upcoming summer window, a need which has been aggravated by Eric Bailly’s reluctance to sign a new contract, as mentioned by Mark Ogden of ESPN. The defender has interest from Spain and Italy, and unless things take a drastic turn, it looks like a move will be in interest of both parties during the next window.

Some of the names Manchester United are looking at in the centre-back position include Raphael Varane of Real Madrid, Pau Torres of Villarreal and Jules Kounde of Sevilla, among others.

Simon Jones of the Mail talked about the fact that United are exploring a deal for Varane this summer, and that there is a consensus at the club that he’s the profile of defender you need alongside Harry Maguire. United have been given encouragement regarding the fact that he’s ready to leave Real Madrid at the end of the season, although there is competition from PSG. Real Madrid value the player in the region of £60M but United hope to negotiate that price down.

Another name which has been circling around is that of Villarreal defender Pau Torres. He has widely been touted as one of the options on Manchester United’s list for the position. We had Rob Dawson of ESPN reiterate the fact that Manchester United are particularly interested in the player, and even though he has a release clause of €65M, offers closer to €50M might be accepted. Also, Manu Sainz of Diario AS talked about Manchester United’s ‘obsession’ with the player, and that his release clause would be worth €50M – until the last 15 days of the window where it would increase to €65M.

Talking about some of the other links regarding a centre-back, Joachim Andersen has been mentioned as a player being looked at by United. Also, Manuel Akanji of Borussia Dortmund would apparently like to move to the Red side of Manchester to ply his trade, and Dortmund would consider a sale if United were to go in for him, as per Ruhr Nachrichten.

Homecoming for Sam Johnstone?

Alan Nixon, who’s an extremely reliable journalist, and broke the news that only one of Dean Henderson or David de Gea would be at Manchester United next season (which was then reiterated by multiple sources), said that should one of them leave Old Trafford this season, United have Sam Johnstone on top of the list as a potential replacement. It was earlier reported by The Athletic that he would be allowed to leave West Brom for a fee between £7.5-£10M, with only a year left on his deal. Convincing him to be a backup keeper when there might be interest from other premier league teams to be a starter may be a difficult obstacle to get rid of, though.

Lucas Vázquez

Manchester United are in the market for a right-back, someone experienced who can provide competition to Aaron Wan-Bissaka and spurt him on along with providing a different dimension to the team are the qualities they’re looking for. Vázquez is all set to leave Real Madrid on a free this summer, and according to Daniele Longo of Calciomercato, Manchester United are one of the teams in the reckoning to secure his services. The player wants a four-year contract at €5M net per season.

Interest in Dejan Kulusevski?

Dejan Kulusevski was a player Manchester United were interested in even before his move to Juventus. According to Daniele Longo of Calciomercato, Manchester United are still interested in him but Juventus do not want to sell him. This stance was echoed by Fabrizio Romano, who said that there’s nothing between the two parties regarding Kulusevski, and that he’ll stay at Juventus.

Teden Mengi to have another season at Derby County on loan?

According to Ryan Conway, who covers Derby County for The Athletic, Manchester United would be more than happy to explore the possibility of Teden Mengi returning to Derby County next season for another loan spell.


Edinson Cavani

There has been continuous speculation regarding Edinson Cavani’s future over the past few weeks, something which has become clearer over the past few days is that Manchester United would certainly like to retain his services for another season, if he agrees to the same. Last week, we had Moi Llorens of ESPN, who’s an extremely reliable source, say that Cavani was closer than ever to Boca Juniors and even though United would like to exercise the option for an extra year in his contract (and also apparently retain him for a third season), Cavani isn’t so sure about that yet.

Also, we had Fabrizio Romano state that United are still waiting for a definite answer from Cavani and that the player wants to decide his future calmly together with his family. Andy Mitten from The Athletic also mentioned that it is unlikely that Cavani stays at Manchester United next season.

New contract for James Garner

According to Alan Nixon, James Garner is set to be offered a new contract by Manchester United and are looking for a loan move abroad, but could still end up settling for another move in the Championship. Also, we had Paul Taylor, who covers Nottingham Forest for The Athletic, say that although Forest are keen to have the player with them again next season, they understand they’re at the back of a long queue with Brighton, Norwich City and Scottish Champions Rangers all interested in the player.

Paul Pogba asking for a deal worth €18M euros net?

According to Fabrizio Romano, who was speaking on the United Muppetiers Podcast, Paul Pogba was asking for a deal worth €18M euros net last season (or around £300k/week net). For context, Manchester United’s highest earner, David de Gea, earns around €13.8M euros net (or around £230k/week net) – (The wages are usually reported in gross format and not net, in the English media). Fabrizio further followed this up by stating his opinion that he doesn’t see Manchester United making a discount for Paul Pogba. It will be interesting to see United’s stance on this come the summer, given pogba will enter the final year of his contract next season.

Not many bumps expected while extending Solskjær’s contract after the season

It has widely been reported that Manchester United are looking to extend Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s contract, come the end of the season. James Cooper of Sky Sports has doubled down on this, stating that the power brokers at Manchester United have been impressed by improvement on and off the field under Solskjær, and that the process of agreeing a new contract with him come the end of the season, should be smooth.

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