Manchester United were close to signing Erling Haaland before he joined Borussia Dortmund in 2020, but face an uphill task in convincing him to sign this time around.
Erling Haaland reportedly refused to entertain offers from Manchester United, despite the Red Devils willingness to match any financial package from other suitors.
The Borussia Dortmund superstar is sizing up his next move, with his £63million release clause set to become active at the end of the season. Haaland has enjoyed another prolific season for Dortmund, netting 23 in 24 games to bring his total for the Bundesliga giants to 80 goals in just 83 appearances in all competitions.
That form along with the impending clause has Europe’s biggest and best clubs on red-alert ahead of what promises to be an extensive and expensive chase for his signature. Mino Raiola has already touted his client to a number of potential buyers both in the Premier League and elsewhere
But one team who don’t appear to be in the running are United, with ESPN claiming he has fears over whether his ambitions will be able to met at Old Trafford. United came agonisingly close to landing the Norwegian back in 2020, with then boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer flying out to Austria to meet him during his final days at RB Salzburg. However, United were said to be unwilling to meet the demands of Raiola, including a sell-on fee and release clauses.
Interest has naturally remained as the 21-year-old proved himself to be more than ready to perform in one of the top leagues in Europe. United are in the market for a striker, with interim boss Ralf Rangnick confirming they would like a more youthful option rather than relying on veterans like Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani – who is set to leave at the end of the season.
Asked about signing a younger striker when the window opens, Rangnick told reporters: “This is obvious. “Edison’s contract is running out in the summer, and the club needs the best possible centre forward. This is an obvious one. I think everyone is aware of that.”
Haaland would be the dream option, but the report claims that he has already rejected an approach from Old Trafford, after the club reached out to the player and his intermediaries earlier this season. It is suggested that United were happy to match any offer from one of their rivals, but Haaland isn’t prioritising on where he will earn the most money – rather where the best ‘sporting project’ lies.
Reports surfaced last month that Dortmund were pressuring Haaland to inform them on where his future lies before the end of April, something which their head of licenced player department Sebastian Kehl denied: “There is no date and no statement about Haaland. A lot has been written in the last few days but much of it is not true.”
Manchester City and Real Madrid are said to be leading the race for Haaland, with the idea of working under Pep Guardiola said to be an enticing one for the player. Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has already ruled out the Reds making a move, claiming he wanted “nothing to do with” the potential blockbuster transfer.
“We won’t be going there,” the former Dortmund manager confirmed. “The numbers involved are just crazy – we’ll be having nothing to do with it. No chance! To be honest, I don’t want anything to do with it. It’s not fun.”