Manchester United are reportedly the favourites to land in-demand Red Bull Salzburg striker Erling Haaland, who is also a target for Barcelona.

According to a report by Norwegian publication Dagbladet, Manchester United are the front-runners in the race to sign Erling Haaland from Red Bull Salzburg. The Norwegian sensation is also being courted by Barcelona, among other top clubs in Europe.

Erling Haaland has become one of the hottest properties in Europe on the back of a stupendous start to the 2019-20 season. It still is only the third month of the season, but Haaland is already on the cusp of scoring 30 goals for the campaign.

In 18 appearances across all competitions, the teenage prodigy has a stunning return of 26 goals and 6 assists and has already netted five hat-tricks so far. Invariably, he has ended up capturing the attention of some of the biggest clubs in the world, including Manchester United and Barcelona.

Manchester United have struggled to find the back of the net on a consistent basis this season, only scoring more than once five times in 18 games so far. With Anthony Martial in the team, the Red Devils look a lot more fluent than without him and therein lies the problem. Apart from Martial, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer does not have any other recognised striker at his disposal.

Will Haaland listen to Manchester United's call? (Photo by Stringer/Krugfoto/AFP via Getty Images)
Will Haaland listen to Manchester United’s call? (Photo by Stringer/Krugfoto/AFP via Getty Images)

Mason Greenwood, who has started a few games, is too inexperienced while Marcus Rashford looks much more effective wide. As a result, Haaland is a viable target for Manchester United, who could create a formidable attacking unit for the long-term. The Premier League giants, though, face stiff competition from Barcelona in the race to sign the player.

At Barcelona, Luis Suarez has been an key player for the last half-a-decade. But, the Uruguayan is starting to slow down with age. Antoine Griezmann is an alternative to Suarez to lead the line for the La Liga champions. But, the Frenchman has rarely been utilised as a striker by Ernesto Valverde.

Beyond Griezmann, the Barcelona boss does not have any other striker in his squad anyway, which means signing a young, promising striker in Haaland could be a step in the right direction. But, while the Blaugrana are interested in signing Haaland, they are wary of his valuation, which is escalating with every performance.

But, Barcelona and other suitors of the teenager, will have to take a quick decision on a move, with Manchester United named as the favourites to sign him. Haaland came to prominence at Molde when Solskjaer, now at Manchester United, was still the first-team manager. And, Solskjaer is keen to make a move for his former protege.

It is still unclear if Manchester United will launch the offensive for Haaland in January, but Red Bull Salzburg do not expect to have the star striker at the club beyond the summer. It now remains to be seen if Barcelona or any other club can leapfrog Manchester United in the race to sign Haaland, whose stock is continuously rising.

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