Serie A giants Napoli reportedly expect Manchester United to sign their priority target Erling Haaland in the January transfer window.
According to a report by talkSPORT, who have carried forward claims by Corriere dello Sport, Manchester United have received a major boost in their bid to sign Erling Haaland. Serie A giants Napoli have pulled out of the race to sign the Norwegian wonderkid and believe the Red Devils will sign him in January.
Erling Haaland is a player who has been rated highly for quite some time now. Son of former Norwegian international Alf-Inge Haaland, the 19-year-old joined Red Bull Salzburg in January this year and has gone on to become a prolific force over the course of 2019.
In what is turning out to be his breakthrough campaign in Europe, Haaland has six goals in three Champions League outings, in addition to a further 15 strikes and 6 assists in 11 appearances. And, his exploits have invariably piqued the interest of a number of clubs across the continent, Napoli and Manchester United being two of them.
Dries Mertens continues to shine while leading the line for Napoli. But, at 32, the Belgian forward is not getting any younger. Arkadiusz Milik and Fernando Llorente are the other strikers at Carlo Ancelotti’s disposal and with the latter also well into his thirties, the interest in Haaland makes sense.
Manchester United, on the other hand, are no strangers in their pursuit of Haaland. The Premier League heavyweights have been tracking the teenage prodigy since his days at Molde and have only continued monitoring his progress at Red Bull Salzburg.
The need to sign a striker is rather important for Manchester United, with Marcus Rashford flourishing out wide instead of leading the line for the Red Devils. That leaves Anthony Martial as the only recognised striker at Old Trafford, with Mason Greenwood being given the time to carve out his place in the first-team squad.
Having sold Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan in the summer and allowed Alexis Sanchez to join the Serie A giants on loan as well, Manchester United are not just short on attacking options but options to reprise the striker’s role as well. Haaland is, thus, a viable target for United.
Manchester United could also fancy their chances of snapping Haaland up owing to the fact that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is their current manager. Solskjaer was the Molde boss when Haaland honed his skills at the Aker Stadium. And the Red Devils have now received a major boost in pursuit of the Norwegian wonderkid, with Napoli pulling out of the race to sign him.
The Serie A giants now expect Manchester United to secure the services of the player in the January transfer window, something the Partenopei’s scout Loris Boni has alluded to as well. It now remains to be seen if Manchester United end up making a concrete move for Haaland, and if they are subsequently able to complete his signing.