MANCHESTER UNITED believe Cristiano Ronaldo can be the secret weapon in attracting Erling Haaland to the club, according to reports.
Ronaldo, 36, returned to Old Trafford in sensational fashion after snubbing Manchester City in the final days of the transfer window.
The Portuguese superstar signed for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side more than a decade after departing for Real Madrid.
But not only have Man Utd re-claimed Ronaldo's remarkable goalscoring pedigree, they have also obtained his pulling power when it comes to other deals.
Haaland, 21, looks set to leave Borussia Dortmund next summer as clubs are alerted to the fact that his £64million release clause is active.
And Europe's biggest teams are all set to fight it out for the Norwegian's signature.
Manchester City, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain will all be keeping tabs on Haaland as he assesses his options.
But ESPN are now reporting that the acquisition of Ronaldo could see United emerge as the front runners.
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This is because of the 'well-known admiration' Haaland has for the five-time Ballon d'Or winner.
Speaking about Ronaldo in February 2020, the Dortmund striker told Record: "I would love to meet him and tell him that I am a footballer thanks to him.
"For me, he was always a model."
The money spent on Ronaldo is not thought to impact any potential move for Haaland in 2022.
Solskjaer handed Haaland his first team debut when the pair were at Norwegian club Molde as manager and player respectively.
However, Man Utd will have to compete with the sentimental pull of rivals Man City.
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The youngster's father, Alf-Inge, played for City for three years between 2000 and 2003.
Haaland was sensational for Dortmund last season as he netted an incredible 41 goals in 41 games.
And he has carried on that goalscoring record in the early stages of the 2021-22 campaign with six goals in his first five matches.
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