Man Utd can aid £130m Erling Haaland pursuit with Jesse Lingard transfer decision
Manchester United’s burning desire to sign Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland appears to be one of the worst-kept secrets currently doing the rounds in world football. The 20-year-old, who has quickly established himself as the hottest property the Bundesliga has to offer, has been linked with the Red Devils for some time, while a number of other clubs in the Premier League and abroad are also said to be keen.
Chelsea, Real Madrid and Barcelona are among those expected to pose a serious threat to United’s hopes of landing the forward in the summer transfer window.
The Red Devils have a number of advantages over their rivals, including the ability to offer Haaland the chance to reunite with former boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who helped the youngster to explode onto the scene while at Molde.
However, they face the prospect of falling short in terms of financial pulling power.
Reports last month claimed that Ed Woodward had set aside a summer transfer budget of just £80million, suggesting that players will need to be sold in order to raise the funds required to make a serious approach for Haaland.
A number of United’s fringe players, including the likes of Andreas Pereira and Phil Jones, have been tipped to make way for new arrivals.
Jesse Lingard, who is spending the second half of the campaign on loan at West Ham United, has also been linked with a permanent exit.
The Red Devils could do far worse than to cash in on the 28-year-old, with his potential transfer value skyrocketing each week.
Lingard has thoroughly impressed for the Hammers since making the temporary switch to east London in January, scoring eight goals and providing four assists in just nine appearances for his new employers.
It would not come as too much of a surprise for West Ham to pursue his services at the end of the season, as the desire to retain their star man appears to be there.
United have already slapped a price tag of £30million on Lingard but could soon look to drive up the fee in order to bolster their chances of signing Haaland ahead of next season.
If the playmaker can maintain his stunning form until the summer and help West Ham secure Champions League qualification for the first time in the Premier League era, the Red Devils would stand a greater chance of squeezing every penny out of the Hammers.
Lingard has also put himself firmly in contention to make England’s Euro 2020 squad, and a strong campaign on the international stage could work wonders with regards to his transfer value, which is already on an upward trajectory.
Despite West Ham’s keen interest, they are not the only side in the race for Lingard’s services.
Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Inter Milan are reportedly keeping a close eye on proceedings ahead of the summer window.
A four-way bidding war could be the ideal scenario for United as they look to strengthen their transfer kitty with a view to a big-money move for Haaland.
The Dortmund star could be available for around £130m at the end of the season, and if the Red Devils can hike up Lingard’s asking price to around £40m or more, it would stand them in good stead to beat the likes of Chelsea and Real Madrid to the Norway international’s signature.
It remains to be seen whether United will look to part ways with Lingard, who remains under contract until the summer of 2022, on a permanent basis.
However, if they are serious about signing Haaland, it could be the right decision with the potential to put the wheels in motion and allow the 20-time Premier League champions to nip ahead of the competition.