Manchester United’s pursuit of Erling Haaland appears to have received a big boost. According to reports, Borussia Dortmund have identified Anthony Martial as a possible successor for the Norway international, who is expected to leave at some time in the future.
At Old Trafford, where Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a plethora of top-tier wingers at his disposal, Martial has slid down the pecking order. Manchester United appear to be receptive to the possibility of parting ways with the Frenchman in exchange for signing Haaland.
Dortmund has not commented on its plans to replace Haaland in the future. Dortmund, on the other hand, has been connected with Martial, who, according to German newspaper Sport1, would be available for about £43 million.
If United receives the entire asking price for Martial, they will essentially just have to pay £25 million to activate Haaland’s release clause, which comes into effect in 2022, and open negotiations with the forward.
One potential issue for United is that Martial is United co-owner Joel Glazer’s favorite player at the club. Former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho tried and failed to transfer Martial for the same reason two years ago.
Mourinho hoped to utilize the proceeds from the sale of Martial to pay for Ivan Perisic, but Glazer refused to part ways with the forward.
Glazer, according to the Evening Standard, reportedly compared Martial to Brazilian icon Pele and feels he has the potential to be a world-class operator despite his career never really getting off for United.
Whether Glazer would stand in Solskjaer’s way remains to be seen. But the Norwegian has plenty of time between now and next summer to speak to the United co-owner and convince him that a transfer for Haaland would make more sense than retaining Martial.