MANCHESTER UNITED will join the race for Robert Lewandowski – if his dream move to Barcelona falls flat.
Lewandowski has his heart set on a move to the Nou Camp, and the striker wants to leave Bayern Munich this summer despite still having a year on his contract.
Yet unless Barca can shift some of their high earners, the Polish skipper's chances of signing look doomed, even though the fee would be a maximum of £20million.
United are keeping a close eye on the situation, and there is growing talk of a similar deal to the one which took Cristiano Ronaldo back to Old Trafford last year.
Lewandowski, 33, is four years younger and is still at the peak of his goalscoring powers, with a staggering 57 in 55 games last season.
His representatives put feelers out to discover the level of Premier League interest when Bayern announced he would not be allowed to leave on a free.
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And United are one of the few who would not be put off by a salary of around £400,000 a week.
Lewandowski has United fans in his family, after some of them spent time working in Manchester.
Chelsea are also interested, with Romelu Lukaku set to leave Stamford Bridge, and have the carrot of Champions League football.
But a central striker is high on United’s list of priorities, and with Benfica’s Darwin Nunez set for Liverpool and Leipzig unwilling to sell Christopher Nkunku, they will go all out to sign him if he doesn’t head to Spain.
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Meanwhile, Erik Ten Hag’s plans for “Total Football” could be put out to grass before a ball is kicked.
United’s new boss has given the club a list of requirements ahead of the start of pre-season on June 27.
And the Dutchman is such a perfectionist that he wants the pitches at their Carrington training base and Old Trafford cut to 1.5cm to allow for quicker passing.
Ten Hag insisted on the same at Ajax, yet he has been told there could be problems in meeting his exacting standards – because of the Manchester climate.
There are fears the surface at Old Trafford would struggle to survive at anything below 2cm's, especially when the colder weather hits.
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