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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Steve Bates

Man Utd summer transfer targets assessed with Erling Haaland and Jadon Sancho on wishlist

Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc shut down Manchester United's pursuit of Jadon Sancho in just fifteen words last August.

'We plan with Jadon Sancho. He'll play for us next season. The decision is final” said Zorc as Dortmund jetted off to their pre-season training camp in Switzerland.

Zorc was true to his word with Dortmund refusing to shift from their £108million valuation of the 20-year-old England winger.

Fast-forward seven months and Sancho is STILL on United's radar.

But this time he's not the only show in town for United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Fellow Dortmund attacker and goal machine Erling Haaland, Sevilla defender Jules Kounde and Real Madrid centre back Raphael Varane are considered equally, if not more, vital in the plan to turn United into title winners again.

Man Utd wouldn't meet Dortmund's £108million Sancho price tag last summer (Pool via REUTERS)

Some members of United's transfer team thought they'd dodged a golden bullet as Sancho struggled for form and focus in the first half of the Bundesliga campaign, failing to score in his first eleven games of the League season.

Since Christmas, though, Sancho has rediscovered his magic, scoring nine times in his last 14 games for the Germans.

And it's left Solskjaer stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Sancho's hit top form again (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Sancho was identified as the kind of electrifying attacker with a handy knack for goals who could help United bridge the gap between Manchester City and Liverpool.

And as United's forwards struggle to apply the clinical touch at a critical stage of the season the club's refusal to meet Dortmund's valuation is looking costly.

With Covid-19 still decimating club finances money will be just as tight this summer with Solskjaer admitting fans have to be realistic about new signings.

A new defensive partner for Harry Maguire is considered essential (Pool via REUTERS)

Many believe a central defender to partner Harry Maguire should be the top target, with many fans wanting a headline goal-getter.

So just who should Solskjaer make his number one priority?

Here we assess the other stars who could transform United:

Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund)

Age: 21

Valuation: £125 million.

United fans often complain they don't know what they're going to get from Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood in front of goal.

But when it comes to scoring Norwegian machine Haaland is a monster.

Erling Haaland is scoring for fun in the Bundesliga (DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

The 20-year-old hit man has bagged 46 goals in 47 games for the German side since his transfer from Austrian side RB Salzburg in January last year.

Those numbers are off the scale – on a par with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

And those who watch Haaland regularly claim the youngster is just getting started and hasn't even come anywhere near his full potential.

Jules Kounde (Sevilla)

Age: 22

Valuation: £65 million +

The 22 year-old French defender perfectly fits United's DNA. He's young, ambitious – and hugely talented.

Jules Kounde has emerged as one of Europe's hottest properties (SIPA USA/PA Images)

Since arriving from Bordeaux in 2019, Kounde has seamlessly fitted into Sevilla's first team using his pace, calmness and pro-active style to emerge as one of Europe's leading young defenders.

United believe his defensive reliability and potential to become a leader would ideally dove-tail with Harry Maguire's aerial dominance and organisational acumen.

Raphael Varane (Real Madrid)

Age: 27

Valuation: £70million

Out of Contract in 18 months and a long-admired at Old Trafford.

Varane could be a victim of Madrid's huge financial problems with the Bernabeu debt said to be close on £1billion after the Covid pandemic.

His pedigree is second to none and United could afford the kind of £225,000-a-week wages he's demand.

A wealth of experience after almost a decade at Madrid where he's won every club trophy going.

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