Manchester United look set to receive a transfer boost from their Premier League rivals - as Chelsea and Manchester City's summer business clears the path for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to lure Erling Haaland to Old Trafford next year.
Chelsea are on the brink of sealing a Stamford Bridge return for former striker Romelu Lukaku in a deal worth £100m.
Meanwhile, Premier League champions City are pursuing a deal for Tottenham star Harry Kane.
Whilst there is still work to be done to seal a mega move for the England skipper, Kane's failure to return to training this week has kicked things up a notch.
Both of these deals would have a knock-on effect for United and their future plans to secure a world-class striker.
Haaland has been courted by Chelsea all summer long - but the Blues refused to meet Borussia Dortmund's mammoth £150m asking price.
It's widely known that the 21-year-old will be available for a much lower amount next summer.
But Chelsea moving onto Lukaku clears the way for United to have a clear crack at enticing Haaland to Old Trafford next summer.
As an added bonus, the Red Devils are also in line for a small windfall due to a sell-on clause inserted as part of the deal which took Lukaku to Inter Milan - potentially netting Ole Gunnar's Solskjaer's men a cool £5m.
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Solskjaer is a massive fan of Haaland, who he worked with briefly back at Molde.
The Sun reports that the United boss has a close relationship with the striking prodigy, and has been regularly kept updated on Haaland's progress ever since he took charge at Old Trafford.
The Red Devils are prepared to bide their time to get their man - even if that means Chelsea have an advantage over them this season by netting Lukaku.
There's a reason that Haaland has been the most coveted striker in Europe, and the Old Trafford hierarchy are confident that biding their time over the Norwegian will serve them best in the long run, even if that means failing to sign an attacker this year.
United did also consider a move for Kane as an alternative to Haaland next summer as the club court an elite striker.
But the 28-year-old star has his heart set on a move to rivals City.
City are one of the teams who could have rivalled United in a transfer tussle for the fearsome forward, so the fact that they've ramped up their efforts to secure Kane also removes them from the picture for Haaland.
United are already on course to fork out over £100m this summer - with Raphael Varane's £45m move set to be added to the £73m capture of long-term target Jadon Sancho.
But Solskjaer still views the signature of an elite attacker as the final piece in the Old Trafford jigsaw to restore United back to domestic dominance - and Haaland is the perfect fit.
He may have to wait until 2022 to get his man, but the stars at least appear to be aligning in order for that to happen.
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