Haaland to City could see Manchester United ramp up Darwin Nunez transfer chase

Erling Haaland to City is going to be a problem. Not just for Manchester United. For the whole of the Premier League, and Europe.

City announced the deal, paying his Dortmund release clause and winning him over to become their new striker.

Haaland to Manchester United was a debate once upon a time. But Manchester United blew it. United made the first mistake when he went from Molde to Red Bull Salzburg. Then even with his former Molde boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at United, the deal could not be closed. Dortmund ran the race instead, by inserting the release clause into his current deal.

United’s currently fall from grace, scrambling to finish sixth in the Premier League if we are lucky, meant Haaland was not prepared to consider a club starting a total rebuild.

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Haaland to City raises the bar

Haaland to City raises the bar for everybody, and Manchester United need to consider how to respond. And for that, the club have to look at the team, as well as looking at how deals are conducted.

Nobody is expecting United to compete with City, but there is plenty to learn from them. It is early May, and they are set to wrap up a major, big money move.

This should accelerate United’s determination not to get left in the dust even further, and get this summer’s transfer business off to a swift start of our own.

Manchester City have done what Manchester United need, and signed their striker of the future. United bodged this in recent years amid the hope Mason Greenwood would take this mantel. This clearly now won’t be the case.

Cristiano Ronaldo may stick around for an extra year or two – but Manchester United need a young striker to lead the line too, to depend on for several years.

The top option who would enable United to do this is Darwin Nunez. The Benfica forward has been irrepressible this season, scoring 34 goals in 41 games, and is only 22-years-old.

Photo by Lukas Schulze – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

Nunez would be a statement signing

We wrote last month that Erik ten Hag landing an early deal for Darwin Nunez would be a statement signing for Manchester United.

Nunez is one of Europe’s most wanted young strikers and a deal would be the perfect way to respond to Haaland to City. The Athletic have reported United are among the frontrunners for his signature.

United would have a powerful, fearsome goalscorer of the same ilk, who is young, and can go toe to toe with Haaland for years to come.

There just aren’t many players like Haaland on the market, and Nunez is the rare case where one is available, and Manchester United need him.

Former United striker Diego Forlan told Breaking The Lines: “He is a player with a lot of potential, who can fit in well at Manchester United. Obviously patience is needed, although he is improving as he gains more experience. It would be spectacular to see him at United.”

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Nunez vs Haaland

There are some interesting numbers to compare Darwin Nunez and Erling Haaland. Firstly, let’s note Haaland has been injured for a part of this season, so Nunez has more goals.

In domestic leagues alone, Nunez has 26 and Haaland 21. But some of the numbers behind this are quite interesting.

Per BBC Sport, Nunez has a better shots to goal accuracy, with his conversion rate at 38 per cent, with Haaland’s at 32 per cent.

Nunez gets more of his shots on target (62 per cent) with Haaland at 55 per cent.

Haaland scores his league goals every 87 minutes this season, while Nunez scores every 76 minutes.

Those numbers are highly impressive, and will give Manchester United plenty of food for thought heading into the next few weeks, or even days, as the club look to push ahead with plans for next season.

Nunez also scored the goal to knock Ten Hag’s Ajax out of the Champions League so he is well aware of what the striker can do. It would not be a surprise to see United step up plans for the forward immediately.

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