Bayern Munich chief Oliver Kahn has handed Manchester United’s pursuit of sought-after Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Braut Haaland a massive boost.
According to Italian transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, Kahn has played down the Bavarians’ interest in one of the hottest young prospects in European football.
“We have Robert Lewandowski – he’s still going to score 30-40 goals for a few more years,” the ex-Bayern goalkeeper replied when asked about his side’s alleged interest in Haaland.
The Norwegian prodigy has been linked with a blockbuster move away from the Signal Iduna Park, with a host of Europe’s top clubs registering interest in his services.
Due to a clause in his contract, Haaland will be available for around £66 million at the end of the season, which is set to trigger a bidding war in summer 2022.
Man United are one of the most interested parties.
However, they’ll have to beat the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain to land the in-demand Die Borussen starlet.
Given Bayern’s well-documented habit of signing Dortmund’s best players over the past decade, Haaland’s switch to the Allianz Arena looked like a reasonable option.
The Bavarians were also understood to be monitoring the 21-year-old’s development at Dortmund, but Kahn’s recent statement has effectively withdrawn the perennial Bundesliga champions from the race.
With Munich now out of the picture, Man United’s hopes of securing the services of arguably the most exciting talent in European football have gone up.
Edinson Cavani and Martial to make way for Haaland’s arrival
Despite signing a short-term contract extension in the summer, Edinson Cavani could leave Man United already in January after tumbling down the pecking order at Old Trafford.
After being handed just two Premier League starts this season, the 34-year-old striker is exploring his options away from Manchester, with Barcelona reportedly waiting in the wings.
The veteran forward has lost his place in the team following Cristiano Ronaldo’s return in the final days of the summer transfer window.
Several physical setbacks have further plagued Cavani’s game time this term.
Having become the fourth option in attack behind Ronaldo, Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood, the ex-PSG star is keen on linking up with Barcelona to ensure regular first-team football.
The same goes for Anthony Martial. He has been on the fringes at the Theatre of Dreams for quite some time now.
Like Cavani, the 26-year-old has ended up on Barcelona’s radar, though Ferran Torres’ impending move from Manchester City could close the door for the ex-Monaco forward.
Martial could still secure a switch to La Liga as Sevilla are front-runners in the race to capture his signature in the January transfer window.
But even if he remains for the remainder of the season, the out-of-favour Frenchman would likely wave goodbye to the Old Trafford faithful in the summer.
Getting the duo’s salaries off the books will enable Man United to offer Haaland a lucrative contract as part of their bid to defeat other suitors in a transfer tug-of-war.
Ralf Rangnick’s appointment in November led to speculation about the Red Devils’ intention to use the German’s influence to sign the former Red Bull Salzburg dynamo.
Although those talks remain strictly in the realm of rumours, there’s no doubt the Old Trafford outfit will stake their claim for landing one of Bundesliga’s top goalscorers.
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