Manchester United are primed to pursue Erling Haaland in next summer’s transfer window. However, any deal for the Borussia Dortmund hitman won’t be easy.

And that’s especially given what they learned about the Norway international after holding secret talks with him before the European Championships earlier in the year.

Back in the summer, United strengthened their attack with two big signings.

Jadon Sancho moved from Borussia Dortmund, finally ending four years of intense speculation regarding a switch to Old Trafford.

And United were able to bring Cristiano Ronaldo back on deadline day, 12 years after he departed for Real Madrid.

While that’s the case, however, the Red Devils are still planning to pursue Haaland next summer.

Edinson Cavani is expected to leave to free up space for the Norway international, who has netted seven goals from five Bundesliga matches so far this season.

And Anthony Martial may also depart, having failed to realise his true potential during his time in the Premier League.

Back in June, The Sun claimed United had held secret talks with Haaland and his entourage about a move to the club in 2022.

That’s when he’ll be cheaper, with the Dortmund star able to leave for a fee of £66million due to a clause in his contract.

However, United weren’t exactly given the green light to make a move for the 21-year-old striker.

It was stated by the publication that they learned Haaland’s preference would be to join La Liga giants Real Madrid instead.

Therefore, United concluded they weren’t his preferred option.

However, they’re still planning to go after Haaland next year regardless – especially with Ronaldo and Cavani entering the twilight years of their careers.

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And whether they’re successful remains to be seen.

Real, for their part, appear to be saving the bulk of their money for the possible signing of Kylian Mbappe instead.

And that gives United hope of signing Haaland, who previously played under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Molde in Norway.

The Red Devils are hoping their close relationship swings the transfer pendulum in their favour.

And Solskjaer admitted earlier this year that he was still in touch with his compatriot.

“When you have had kids and players through as a coach, you follow them and I keep in touch with Erling,” he said.

“It’s great to see him become the player he has become and [how] he works to improve all the time.

“He’s a Dortmund player – we just wish him well there and let’s see what life will bring later on.

“You know I can’t speak about Erling because he’s at Borussia Dortmund, and it’s disrespectful to talk too much about it, apart from that I know him and I speak to him.

“Who wasn’t interested in him a year ago? Everybody would say you would take the best players in the world and Erling is a top player.”

Haaland has said in the past that he’d love to meet Ronaldo, which could also be an advantage.

“I would love to meet him and tell him that I am a footballer thanks to him,” he said in 2020.

“For me, he was always a role model.”