Last week’s cyber attack on Old Trafford has threatened to derail Manchester United’s scouting operation ahead of the January transfer window.
The Red Devils’ computer systems were hacked on November 20, with reports that a multi-million pound ‘ransom’ was demanded. Those responsible allegedly say they will leak confidential information but club officials are yet to comment.
United say forensic cyber experts are looking into the matter to determine the extent of the problem. It is not known if any sensitive material involving potential signings has been stolen in the breach. However, the club’s email system is still down more than a week after the attack.
The Old Trafford giants keep detailed player analysis files on potential targets before heading into the market. And with the window due to open in January, the incident looks set to hamper their transfer strategy.
Reports also claim that personal details of current United stars may also have been stolen. Club officials have been quick to point out that their computer systems are not being controlled by an outside source.
It is not known how long it will take to sort out the issue but top experts have been employed, according to The Mirror.
United target at Dortmund for long term
One youngster that United will have plenty of information on is Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Braut Haaland. The 20-year-old has been linked with the Theatre of Dreams, while other big-name clubs are also said to be keen.
That is not surprising given his prowess in front of goal. Having joined BVB in January this year, the Norway international has scored 23 goals from 22 appearances in all competitions.
He has 10 in eight Bundesliga games this term, helping Dortmund to third in the German top-flight standings. Despite his tender years, the youngster has also bagged six in seven outings for Norway.
It seems inevitable that he will move to a bigger club at some stage of his career. But Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc insist it will not be for some time.
“We plan for the long term with Erling,” he said. “[Rumours] do not have to be dealt with at all. I will see him with us for a long time.”
The Westfalenstadion outfit beat several clubs to the starlet’s signature, paying just €20m. They look set to make huge profit on Haaland when he is eventually sold.
Whether or not United finally get their man only time will tell but the list of his suitors will be long.
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