Manchester United chief Matt Judge has Erling Haaland trump card ahead of transfer talks
Man Utd: What could tempt Haaland to Old Trafford?
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Manchester United chief Matt Judge will negotiate the potential signing of Erling Haaland in the coming weeks. And, in Donny van de Beek, the Red Devils have the perfect trump card to play in transfer talks. The Netherlands international has struggled at Old Trafford but, despite that, is being eyed by Borussia Dortmund.
On Thursday, the Haaland saga took a new twist.
The player’s agent, Mino Raiola, was spotted travelling to Barcelona for talks regarding a potential move to the Nou Camp this summer.
And then, hours later, Raiola was seen jetting off to Real Madrid for separate negotiations.
There are no alarm bells ringing at Old Trafford just yet but the two La Liga giants, it seems, have made their first moves.
Barcelona want to sign Haaland to appease Lionel Messi, with the club yet to secure a replacement for Luis Suarez following the Uruguay international’s move to Atletico Madrid last summer.
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And Real Madrid see the Norway international as the ideal heir to Cristiano Ronaldo, who was sold to Juventus back in 2018.
Manchester United are due to talk with Raiola in the coming weeks over a potential move for Haaland, who has scored 31 goals in the Bundesliga and Champions League combined this term.
While the club have undergone a restructuring of things behind the scenes, Judge will still oversee negotiations.
And, in Van de Beek, United have the perfect trump card.
While United will have to persuade Haaland and Raiola they’re the real deal, they’ll also have to entice Borussia Dortmund into selling.
That certainly won’t be easy given the player’s importance to the Bundesliga giants, having outperformed Jadon Sancho to become the club’s talisman.
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Dortmund also proved to be stubborn negotiators over Sancho back in the summer transfer window, at a time where United were hellbent on getting the England international through the door.
But the Bundesliga giants are open to signing Van de Beek at the end of the season.
And, for United, that could be the perfect trump card to play in negotiations.
The Netherlands international has struggled for form at Old Trafford since his summer switch from Ajax, finding himself often stuck behind the outstanding Bruno Fernandes in the pecking order.
And while United would be reluctant to part ways with the former Ajax star so soon, they may find themselves having to take the punt.
In using Van de Beek as bait, the Red Devils may be able to drive down Haaland’s price – with Dortmund looking for a huge £130million to part ways with their star striker.
And that could hold the key to Haaland moving to the Theatre of Dreams.
While that’s the case, however, Raiola may need some persuading.
The super-agent has been regularly critical of United for their handling of Paul Pogba, who is still yet to sign a new contract with the club.
And whether United can heal that relationship in order to acquire Haaland’s services remains to be seen.
Meanwhile, Raiola has previously claimed only 10 clubs on the planet have the financial might required to secure Haaland’s signing.
“It is obvious that everybody is looking at Erling as one of those potential new future stars because it’s so difficult to do what he does at his age at his level,” he said.
“He will be one of the future stars of the next decade because we see that stars such as Ibrahimovic, Ronaldo and Messi are coming to an age where everyone asks themselves: ‘How long can we still enjoy them?’ So everyone is looking for the new generation.
“Only a maximum of 10 clubs can afford to buy [Haaland] and give the platform you would like after you’ve been in Dortmund… and four of those clubs are in [England].
“I don’t think there’s a sports director or trainer in the world who would say ‘not interested’.
“It’s like saying: ‘Is there a Formula 1 team who would not be interested in having Lewis Hamilton?'”
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