Man Utd change mind on summer transfer as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer picks different priority

Man Utd: Solskjaer admits to 'baby steps' in title push

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Manchester United are now primed to focus on signing a new forward after tying Eric Bailly down to a new contract, according to reports. The Ivory Coast international had been linked with a move away from Old Trafford ahead of the summer transfer window. But he’s now set to stay instead and battle with the likes of Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof for a starting berth.

Manchester United announced on Monday that Bailly had extended his current deal, with the Ivorian then saying: “I’m very happy.

“This decision is something I didn’t have to think about, I love this club and I love playing for Manchester United.

“I’m happy and so are my family, everything is good.

“Now the moment with my injury has passed and I’m fit and feel good, and that’s it. A new contract is like a new challenge and I’m ready for this.”

And, now, the Telegraph says Manchester United’s priority for the summer transfer window has shifted.

It’s said they were originally planning on snapping up a new centre-back, despite having Bailly, Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire available at their disposal.

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But they’d now prefer to bolster their frontline instead.

Jadon Sancho remains under consideration behind the scenes, with Borussia Dortmund willing to let the England international go for a big fee.

Jack Grealish also remains on Solskjaer’s wishlist despite the club missing out on his signing back in the summer.

And Erling Haaland, having found the net 25 times from 26 Bundesliga matches, is also on the Red Devils’ radar.

Signing a new forward may become even more of a priority should Edinson Cavani leave, with Boca Juniors interested in bringing him back to South America.

And though United are admirers of Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane and Sevilla’s Jules Kounde, deals for the duo may be put on hold.

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United have also been linked with Harry Kane as a potential option to strengthen their attack.

However, speaking recently, Paul Scholes expressed a belief that Haaland would be the better signing.

“First and foremost, they need a number nine,” the former United midfielder said on the Webby & O’Neill YouTube channel .

“I think the forwards they have are very good, but are any of them really a number nine? Are they wide players? You just can’t make sense out of it, really.

“When [Edinson] Cavani’s played, he’s looked alright, but he’s picked up a few injuries. He’s at that age, it was always going to happen, he was always going to be bit-part.

“They need someone who is more permanent. I know Haaland is talked about a lot, he’s going to cost a lot of money. Harry Kane at Spurs, there are rumours that he might want to leave there.

“I think any one of them, you take any one of them, but I think if I had to choose, then Haaland would definitely be the one.

“Purely for his age, his ability, the timing of his career, he’s played under Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer] before. I think it would make sense for everyone to do it, but there’s going to be other clubs in for him, so it will be difficult.

“I like Kane, I think he’s brilliant. When he first came onto the scene, I likened him to Ruud [van Nistelrooy], he’s a ruthless finisher, desperate to score goals.

“I just think at the stages of each one’s career, then you get more out of Haaland.”

While United want to strengthen their squad, Solskjaer recently warned fans not to expect any expensive signings.

“[The pandemic] is definitely affecting everyone in football. Of course the lack of income, the finances have affected everyone,” he said.

“We have to be realistic and responsible in the way we do our business both on and off the pitch. There are improvements on the training ground, stadium – we have to look at the whole picture.

“Where can we spend the money? And how much is there? It’s just the real world now. It has changed.”

Solskjaer added: “You can look at it different ways [with a] rebuild. We also have players in the academy that we now can maybe give opportunities.

“All clubs in the world are going through the same situation so it’s no different for other clubs than for us. I think there’s just going to be less and less transfers happening in the world of football with all these changes.”

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