Striker Has Already Scored 26 Goals
Manchester United are favourites to sign Norwegian striker Erland Braut Haaland according to reports in his homeland.
The 19-year-old plays for Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg and is top scorer in the Champions League group stages with seven goals in his opening four games.
After scoring a penalty in the 1-1 draw at Napoli last week, Haaland returned to domestic action at the weekend and scored a hat-trick in the 3-0 victory over Wolfsberger AC. That took his tally for the season to a remarkable 26 goals in 18 games in all competitions.
Such form has brought him to the attention of some of Europe’s top clubs with Real Madrid and Juventus said to be interested as well as United. But the Red Devils are in pole position according to the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet. It claims to have been told by a “credible and well-informed source” that United have already made the first move in a bid to sign Haaland. However, it adds that Salzburg will demand 1 billion Norwegian kroner for Haaland – that’s the equivalent of £85 million.
Manchester United are already eyeing up Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic However, there’s a problem in that the 33-year-old hasn’t played a single minute of football for Juve and has only made the bench on three occasions this season.
In a further sign that his time with Juventus is up, Mandzukic has been told to train away from the first team with a personal trainer. He didn’t take it well but accepts he will be moving on in January.
The risk for Manchester United is that they will be getting a player who is short of training fitness, never mind match fitness. They are hoping to bring the Croatian to England in December – a month before he officially becomes a United player. Otherwise it could take him six weeks from signing for the club to being match ready.