Exclusive – Manchester United are far from certain to make a move for Erilng Haaland or any other striking target in 2022.
United have been strongly linked with making a big money move for a new striker in 2022, but 90min understands they are yet to commit themselves to doing so because of Mason Greenwood.
Well placed sources have told us that United are confident Greenwood can emerge as one of the best young players in the world, and his start to the new season has only extenuated that belief.
Greenwood, who turns 20 in October, has started the new Premier League campaign in brilliant fashion, scoring in each of United’s opening three games. He has been named their Player of the Month as a result, and is enjoying a run of games centrally – which has rarely been the case during his young career.
United have brought Cristiano Ronaldo back to the club, who is expected to spend a lot of his time playing through the middle – but is is believed that Ronaldo’s arrival will impact more on others and the belief is that his presence will help Greenwood’s progress and not hinder it.
Anthony Martial and Edinson Cavani both now look to be behind Greenwood in the pecking order, such has been his progress in the last 12 months under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Indeed, 90min understands both could be available to move in January.
Greenwood has made no secret of the fact that he sees his long-term future down the middle and Solskjaer agrees with him. Sources close to Greenwood also think he is more than capable of showing that he can than match-up and even surpass someone like Haaland in the future.
United had two primary positions they wanted to enhance this summer – central defence and a winger – and they successfully did that with the signings of Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho. They also brought in Ronaldo to enhance their attacking options, but that still did not and will not stop the links to a big money swoop in 2022.
Borussia Dortmund star Haaland is a player they already know a lot about having unsuccessful tried to sign him before he moved to Germany in 2020. Haaland can, and is expected to, leave Dortmund in 2022 as he has a release clause just shy of £70m and clubs are already circling – including United.
United have been in conversations with Haaland’s representatives over recent months, but so have many of their Premier League’s rivals as well as most of Europe’s elite.
Chelsea were also keen but having spent nearly £100m on Romelu Lukaku this summer, it remains to be seen if they will enter the bidding again having talked to Dortmund this summer.
While United are very much in the picture for Haaland, and also the likes of Federico Chiesa and Joao Felix, 90min sources have indicated that much will depends on Greenwood’s progress. If he develops as they and Solskjaer hope, they are of the belief that they may not need to spend heavily, or at all, on a new striker.