Man Utd warned Man City may win Erling Haaland war as Liverpool and Chelsea also a threat

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Manchester United will find it hard to convince Erling Braut Haaland they are a better destination than the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool this summer, fears Andy Cole despite the club’s status as one of the biggest in the world.

The United legend is convinced that players of the Borussia Dortmund striker’s calibre are more concerned about silverware than money, and says the Red Devils cannot guarantee Premier League titles given City’s form, with the Citizens having won 20 consecutive matches across all competitions to sprint clear at the summit.

Haaland is arguably the most in-demand player in Europe and since joining Dortmund in January 2020, has scored an incredible 43 goals in 44 games, added to 11 assists.

That comes after the prolific Norwegian starred for Austrian champions Red Bull Salzburg, for whom he made his Champions League debut and scored 29 times in just 27 games.

The Dortmund frontman doesn’t even turn 21 years of age until July and is destined to be one of the stand-out talents of his generation, given he’s already scored close to goals at club level, added to six goals in seven Norway caps.

A whole host of clubs across Europe will fiercely compete for Haaland’s signature and a bidding war could occur this summer, although the striker has a release clause that becomes active in 2022 that would make him available for around £68million.

United or any other interested party will have to pay close to double that to sign the striker this year but Cole thinks a club such as City, who are 12 points clear of United with 12 games to play of the season, are favourites over his former club.

Pep Guardiola’s champions elect have been linked with Haaland with Sergio Aguero out of contract this summer and question marks over Gabriel Jesus’ ability to fill the void.

Similarly Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool and Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea, who are prepared to go big to sign Haaland this coming summer, have also been tipped to sign him.

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is as keen as anyone to bring Haaland to Old Trafford as they seek more signings of Bruno Fernandes’ profile to elevate them back into contention for major honours.

But former striker Cole, speaking to the Daily Mirror, warned: “To get these guys to come, Haaland for instance, you’ve got to entice them with something.

“You’ve got to entice them with the possibility of winning silverware or being a year away from it.

“These guys are going to have other options, possibly Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Real Madrid, maybe Barcelona.

“If you’re playing and have the option of all these clubs, where would United really figure at this moment in time?

“Even though I love United, I don’t think the club now can ride on its name alone, especially when you’re trying to bring these players in.

“It’s not like when I signed for United. We have to be brutally honest, back then everybody wanted to go there.

“We’re talking 2021 now. Does everyone want to go to United now? I’m not quite sure everyone wants to now.

“Football’s such a short career now and everybody wants to win. People talk about money, but top players don’t think about that, they think about winning things.

“That’s ultimately what it’s about, because you’ll be judged on what you win by the time your career finishes.

“You’ve got to be a great salesman now, to be able to sell these players the football club, knowing you can’t guarantee winning the league next season, particularly if City win it by 20 points.”

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Solskjaer, who worked with Haaland at Molde earlier in their careers, has wanted his countryman in Manchester for the past 18 months.

And the United manager has confirmed that he remains in contact with his former striker, saying recently: “When you have had kids and players through as a coach, you follow them and I keep in touch with Erling.

“It’s great to see him become the player he has become and [how] he works to improve all the time. He’s a Dortmund player – we just wish him well there and let’s see what life will bring later on.”

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