Latest news Live Scores

Man Utd told Haaland is still a realistic transfer target as Bellingham also identified by Saha

5:35 PM MYT 27/04/2022
Erling Haaland Dortmund 2021-22
The Frenchman still believes that the Red Devils will be able to attract top talent despite a disastrous 2021-22 campaign

Louis Saha has insisted that Erling Haaland is still a realistic target for Manchester United while also suggesting that his Borussia Dortmund team-mate Jude Bellingham "is the number eight that the club require".

Haaland is among the most sought after players in European football right now, with the likes of Manchester City, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid all eager to bring him onto their books.

United have also been linked with the Norwegian striker in the past, and Saha thinks he could still be attracted to a switch to Old Trafford despite the fact they are set to miss out on Champions League qualification after a poor 2021-22 season.

What has Saha said about Haaland?

Asked if his former club will still be a draw for top talent like Haaland in the summer transfer window, Saha has told “Yes, they will still recognise that United is a huge club, and the club will get the respect it deserves. Haaland is young and ready for a step up, at the moment there are obviously bigger destinations where Champions League football is guaranteed, where trophies are maybe more likely.

"I understand that. But the player (Haaland) is smart enough to understand that United will be back at the top, that’s for sure, and he will fit the bill.

"That’s what United are looking for – someone who can guarantee goals, will definitely play for many, many years and who knows, could even break records."

The ex-United forward would also like Bellingham to join Haaland at Old Trafford, with the England international seen as the ideal man to solve the team's transitional issues in the middle of the pitch.

Saha does feel they will need one other midfield signing too, though, as he added: "Jude Bellingham is the number eight that the club require, but we also need a defensive midfielder that is way more capable of defending, so you need to find the right balance.”

Saha on Ten Hag appointment

Saha went on to give his thoughts on Erik ten Hag's imminent arrival at Old Trafford, with the Ajax boss set to take over as United's next permanent manager at the end of the season.

Ten Hag has been handed a three-year contract with the option of an extra year, and the Frenchman feels he has all the necessary tools to be a success despite his relative lack of coaching experience at the very highest level.

“I think he brings the right profile," said Saha. "It’s a difficult choice for the board to make. United have tried different styles in the past, with [Jose] Mourinho and [Louis] Van Gaal bringing massive experience but it didn’t really work out.

"Ten Haag brings a style that’s recognisable and is inventive, he’s very effective with youth players, so he fits the bill for sure.

"But he doesn’t have Premier League experience, and perhaps he’s not got the pedigree of past managers United have tried. So there will be questions, but we can only wish him good luck for what will be a massive task.

“Things need time to gel, but it’s appropriate moving forward and I think he’s the right choice."

Saha did, however, warn that Ten Hag has a tough challenge on his hands, particularly when it comes to managing big names such as Cristiano Ronaldo.

"His communication is good, he’s speaking really well - he will have challenges from the British press, it’s a different animal and Manchester United is the biggest club in the world," he said.

"Anyone managing Ronaldo will find it challenging because of the media attention, putting United and Ronaldo together is like a bomb because those two names will always attract attention and stories.

"So it’s something you have to manage well and it’s not easy when you have some displeased players with aggressive agents."

Further reading