Manchester United manager Olé Gunnar Solksjaer flew in to Salzburg on Friday morning for transfer talks with teenage sensation Erling Braut Haaland, according to reports from Norway.
VG claim that Solskjaer did not attend United’s training session at Carrington on Friday and instead travelled to Austria to try to secure the 19-year-old’s signature.
Private jet flight plans leaked on Twitter showing two trips – one from Manchester to Salzburg at 6.49am, returning to Manchester at 1.44pm, and another leaving shortly after for Stavanger, close to the Haaland’s home in Norway, at 2.46pm – would seem to bear out VG’s claim.
It would make sense that if United are indeed interested in signing the Norwegian, that they would have held talks this week following the player’s confirmed talks with both Red Bull Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund.
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Haaland has spoken highly of Solskjaer in the past, saying ‘- He has played a very big role for me. The way he was with me, how he trained me and what he taught me … It has had a very big impact on me being who I am today’.
However, unless Solskjaer has developed the ability to be in two places at once, he cannot have been both on those flights and in Carrington giving his pre-match press conference for the Everton game, which was reported to have gone live at 11am on Friday.
This leaves two possibilities: one, that the claims of Solskjaer’s trip are false, or two, that the press were involved in some cloak-and-dagger manoeuvre with the Old Trafford hierarchy and that the press conference was secretly filmed on Thursday night or in the very early hours of Friday morning, then released ‘as live’ later.
We believe it was the latter.
Meanwhile, Salzburg have confirmed that Haaland will not play against Hartsburg this weekend, which is the side’s last match before a two-month winter break. It would seem, therefore, that the youngster has played his last game for the Austrian side and that United remain in pole position to sign him.