Serie A giants Napoli believe that Manchester United are currently the favourites to sign RB Salzburg goal machine Erling Braut Haaland, as per Corriere dello Sport (via FourFourTwo).
The Partenopei are keeping a keen eye on the Norwegian striker, the report claims. However, it also states that there is a strong feeling at the Stadio San Paolo that United’s financial clout will allow them to sign Haaland in January.
Napoli manager Carlo Ancelotti and owner Aurelio de Laurentiis are said to be fans of the former Molde man, but their confidence in a possible deal has reduced in recent weeks.
The 19-year-old Haaland has been a shining light in European football this season, having scored 21 times in all competitions for RB Salzburg. He has played only 14 times and has also assisted six times so far.
Haaland, the son of former Leeds United player Alfe-Inge, has already scored against Liverpool and Napoli themselves. He notched up an impressive brace against a side from Naples, but his efforts went in vain as they picked up a win.
Haaland has previously trained under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer during their days together at Molde. The player joined Salzburg this past January, while Solskjaer joined United at the end of December last year.
Where does he fit in?
There is no coincidence that Haaland’s mentality has drawn similarities to that of Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s. United need a goalscorer considering how they sold Romelu Lukaku to Inter and failed to sign a centre-forward to replace the Belgian.
Links with Juventus outcast Mario Mandzukic continue to be made, but nothing concrete has happened in that regard. However, Haaland presents a younger version of the Croatian. While Mandzukic adds the extra element of playing out wide, but Haaland brings a similar sort of hardworking attitude to the plate – like Mandzukic and Zlatan do.
United clearly need striker who can get them the goals and Haaland could be the man for that, even if they still have Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial in the side. The 19-year-old is more of a striker than both the aforementioned players and a move for the teenager would appear to make a lot of sense.