In an interview with The Mirror, the former England striker, who scored 121 goals in 275 appearances for Man United, outlined his concern that the club no longer have the pulling power they once did.
“To get these guys to come, Haaland for instance, you’ve got to entice them with something. You've got to entice them with the possibility of winning silverware or being a year away from it,” said Cole.
“If you’re playing and have the option of all these clubs, where would United really figure at this moment in time?
“Even though I love United, I don’t think the club now can ride on its name alone, especially when you're trying to bring these players in.”
When Haaland makes his next move, the Norwegian is likely to have his pick of trophy-winning powerhouses in England and Spain.
Although Man United have been regularly linked with a move for Haaland, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer previously managed him at Molde, they remain in a period of transition.
Since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013, Man United haven’t come close to winning the Premier League title in seven attempts and their local rivals look set to lift the trophy again.
The Red Devils finished as low as seventh in the first season after Ferguson stepped down and have consistently been well off the pace at the top of the table.
Even when finishing second under Jose Mourinho in 2018, United were 19 points behind runaway champions Man City.
Their standing in the game has diminished as a result, prompting Cole and others to question if they remain a viable destination for star players hoping to win silverware.
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