Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reportedly still hopes to bring Erling Haaland to Old Trafford. The Borussia Dortmund star is Europe’s hottest prospect, having scored 56 goals from as many matches since 2018. But any move for the Norway international, who is also on Real Madrid’s radar, risks upsetting Anthony Martial.
In January, Solskjaer was confident he’d bring Haaland to United.
Having flown out to meet the striker, who was scoring goals galore with Red Bull Salzburg at the time, the Norwegian felt the Red Devils have done enough.
Solskjaer and Ed Woodward had jetted out in the hope of persuading the player into moving to Old Trafford, being in sorely need of a new forward at the time.
In the end, however, a move to United broke down.
It was Woodward who pulled the plug, with the Red Devils supremo unwilling to pay a huge agent fee to Mino Raiola – the same Raiola who has spent the last few years attempting to broker Paul Pogba a move away.
The Red Devils supremo also didn’t want to agree to a release clause in the forward’s contract.
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However, while that’s the case, United signing Haaland could frustrate Martial.
The France international scored 23 goals across all competitions last term, his best-ever numbers for the club since his move from Monaco in 2015.
But Martial is a fragile character. Jose Mourinho didn’t like that side to him, hence why the Tottenham boss tried to cut the forward loose.
In his first season at the Theatre of Dreams, the France international scored 17 goals across all competitions.
He was the shining light amid a difficult campaign under Louis van Gaal, offering a bright glimpse of the future amid a dark and turbulent season.
But, the following summer, his mood dropped.
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He wasn’t just unhappy at having to give up his No 9 shirt to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, he was also enraged by Mourinho signing a direct upgrade in his natural position.
Martial struggled during Ibrahimovic’s time in charge and it was a similar story when Mourinho forked out on Romelu Lukaku back in the summer transfer window of 2018.
It was only once Lukaku went that the 24-year-old’s form picked up. But signing Haaland would risk upsetting the Frenchman again.
He likes to be the main man. He loves playing down the middle and, in Solskjaer’s system, there’s only room for one centre-forward.
Should Haaland arrive, that wouldn’t be Martial. And any move for the Dortmund star would endanger an already down dressing room, with Martial close to the likes of Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford.
So Solskjaer should be wary.
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