Erling Braut Haaland’s father has revealed why his son did not choose to join Manchester United in January.
The 19-year-old was the hottest property of the winter transfer window, having scored 28 goals and provided 7 assists in 22 games for Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg.
The Red Devils appeared to be favourites to land the Norwegian striker’s signature in December, with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer having built an excellent relationship with both the player and his family.
His £17 million release clause meant that the transfer fee was not an issue and it was simply a case of the player deciding which club he preferred to join.
But Haaland did not choose Manchester United and opted to sign for German side Borussia Dortmund instead.
Speaking to TV2 via Goal.com, Alf-Inge Haaland, Erling’s father and agent at the time, has revealed why that decision was made, making it clear that his son had felt more wanted at the Bundesliga club than at Old Trafford.
‘You have to go to a club where the whole club wants you, not just the coach’ Haaland senior said.
‘I think that’s the most important thing, in addition to how the club has been over the last five or ten years and what direction they’ve taken.’
The comments are clearly aimed at Manchester United and executive vice chairman Ed Woodward and chief negotiator Matt Judge in particular.
There was a lot of speculation as to why United failed in the Haaland negotiations. Some reports claimed that they refused to meet the terms of the deal proposed by Mino Raiola, who was acting in an advisory role but is now Haaland’s agent. Others suggested that Dortmund’s charm offensive meant that the player simply chose them over the Red Devils.
The father’s comments seem to confirm that United did fail to impress the starlet, or as ESPN’s inside sources claimed, ‘Dortmund’s success in signing Erling Haaland was due in part to United executive vice chairman Ed Woodward and contract negotiator Matt Judge taking too long to allow the club’s football staff to speak to the player and sell their vision of what he could do for the team on the pitch.’
The remarks also suggest that the Haaland family had doubts over the way United has been run in the period since Woodward took over the reins.
United’s loss would certainly seem to be a massive one. Since joining Dortmund, Haaland has scored 12 goals and provided two assists in 11 games – of which he started only seven. This equates to a goal every 61 minutes.
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