Man Utd have three-man transfer shortlist as Ed Woodward keen to back Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

The Red Devils have endured a mixed campaign having been knocked out of the Champions League at the group stage and once again fallen short in the Carabao Cup and FA Cup.

But while United trail rivals Manchester City by 14 points with the Citizens poised to clinch the title, they have improved by 12 points on their standing at this stage last season.

And United are highly likely to finish as high as second for just the second time since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.

But the club’s hierarchy know that silverware is an imminent requirement and that United particularly need to end their title drought, which is threatening to stretch to a decade.

In their hope to continue their domestic progress, United are set to trust Solskjaer with a new initial two-year contract that will extend his agreement at Old Trafford until at least 2024.

The Daily Star say executive vice-chairman Woodward fully backs Solskjaer and will hand the manager a new deal even if United fail to win the Europa League this season, in which they are massive favourites.

Woodward is convinced Solskjaer can get United back to winning major honours again although they have fallen in the quarter-final or semi-final of their past five cup competitions.

And the Star say that Woodward wants to once again back the Norwegian coach in the transfer market and that all of Haaland, Sancho and Varane are on their list of targets.

Borussia Dortmund duo Haaland and Sancho are two of the most exciting attackers in world football and have lit up the Bundesliga for the Yellow Blacks.

Since joining from Red Bull Salzburg a little over a year ago, Haaland has managed 49 goals and 11 assists in 49 matches while former Manchester City trainee Sancho’s return reads 46 goals and 60 assists in 130 outings.

Sancho turned 21 on Thursday (March 25) while Haaland remains 20 until late July, meaning the pair may have over a decade of quality to offer to their next club.

With Edinson Cavani not certain to sign a new contract in Manchester and the veteran Uruguayan also 34 years of age, Haaland is seen as the ideal No 9 to replace him.

United have leaked 32 goals in 29 games this season, 11 more than champions elect City, and need a tighter rearguard if they are to rack up the points to be the kings of England once more.

Sevilla’s Jules Kounde is liked by United but the Star suggest it is Real Madrid’s Varane who they are most keen on.

The Frenchman has long been regarded one of Europe’s finest centre-halves having been a key player for Los Blancos for nearly a decade.

Varane turns 28 next month but the 72-cap France international is out of contract in the summer of 2022 and could therefore be available for cheaper than his real market value this year.

Transfermarkt reckon Varane is worth over £60m and signing two or more of Haaland, Sancho and the towering centre-back will require a raft of big-money player sales.

David de Gea, Phil Jones and Jesse Lingard are among the players who could be sold to free up funds for United’s planned recruitment.

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