Manchester United aren’t anticipating making a £120million move for Harry Kane this summer – preferring to target the signing of England winger Jadon Sancho and waiting 12 months to try and land Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s former player Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund as their long-term number nine.
Solskjaer started work for next season within hours of United’s Europa Cup final defeat against Villarreal on Wednesday night and has formulated a plan with new director of football John Murtough that doesn’t include England captain Kane.
The recent extension of Edinson Cavani’s contract means chasing a centre-forward is regarded less of an immediate priority than Sancho as a right-sided attacker.
Sancho, 21, has been in sensational recent form for Dortumund, helping them win the German Cup and qualify for the Champions League with 10 goals in his last 15 games.
The former Manchester City academy graduate could command a fee close to Paul Pogba’s British record £89 million and United will only be in a position to make one mega-signing due with the club having lost £150million in the pandemic and no guarantees so far of stadiums being allowed to operate at full capacity next season.
Solskaer has told his bosses forward options of Sancho, Cavani, Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial would make United competitive challenging for major trophies against the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea next season.
Though Kane has made it clear he would like to explore a future away from Tottenham to win trophies, he has still three years left on his contract which allows Daniel Levy to drive a hard bargain, with United reluctant to be drawn into a costly auction with City given a main striker is not their top priority.
Solskjaer will be allowed to add three other squad players besides Sancho and the availability of Haaland, Europe’s hottest young striker, in a year’s time allows United time to try and work the charm offensive on him.
Haaland, who was born in England and started his career under Solskjaer at Molde, has indicated he will stay another season with Dortmund when it’s believed he will have a £65million release clause – lower than his market value.
Though United will face competition from Real Madrid, Solskaer’s personal relationship with the family may work in his favour, and he’ll hope to prove to Haaland next season that United are a match for anyone in the Premier League and Europe.
United’s defeat against Villarreal was shattering for Solskjaer who had hoped it would prove his first trophy as United manager.
But there is no suggestion the club will change managers for the new season and having arrived back from Gdansk in the early hours of Thursday morning, the manager was involved in meetings with Murtough later that day.
Tom Heaton set to join Manchester United next month.
Tom Heaton is set to put pen to paper on a two-year deal with Manchester United next month, according to a report.
The 35-year-old was one of three players – alongside Ahmed Elmohamady and Neil Taylor – confirmed to be departing Villa Park when his deal expires in the summer.
Despite not playing a single minute of Premier League football in the 2020-21 campaign, Heaton is expected to return to Old Trafford, with current backup goalkeepers Sergio Romero and Lee Grant set to leave in the coming weeks.
According to The Sun, Heaton has agreed to a two-year deal at Man United with the option of a one-year extension, and he will sign his Red Devils contract upon his return from holiday next month.
A recent report claimed that Heaton wants to challenge David de Gea and Dean Henderson for the number one jersey, but both United shot-stoppers are also facing uncertain futures at the club.
Heaton rose through the youth ranks at Man United but was shipped out on loan six times and left in 2010 without making a single appearance for the senior team.