Football

Solskjaer reveals Haaland contact amid Man Utd transfer speculation

The Old Trafford outfit tried to sign the young goal-machine last season and the manager admits that he keeps in touch with the 20-year-old

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted he is still in contact with Erling Haaland and refused to rule out Manchester United making a move for the Borussia Dortmund man.

Solskjaer has a good relationship with the 20-year-old having managed him at Molde, and it is understood that the Red Devils tried to sign him in the 2020 January transfer window before he ultimately moved to the Bundesliga.

A release clause in his contract would allow him to leave for €75 million (£65m) in the summer of 2022 and it has led to frenzied speculation about his future.

What has Solskjaer said?

The United manager was asked about a possible reunion with his former player ahead of Man Utd’s clash against Real Sociedad in the Europa League.

He said: “I think when you’ve had kids and players through as a coach, you follow them, of course. I keep in touch with Erling and it’s great to see him become the player he has become and I know he’ll work to improve all the time. 

“He’s a Dortmund player and we just wish him well there and let’s see what life will bring later on.”

Pushed on whether United could go in for him again in the summer, Solskjaer replied: “You know I can’t speak about Erling because he’s at Borussia Dortmund. I think it’s disrespectful to talk too much about it apart from that I know him and I speak to him. 

“Who wasn’t interested in him a year ago? Everybody would say you would take the best players in the world and Erling is a top player. 

“But for me, we have recruited well. Dan [James] and Bruno [Fernandes] show that the signings we have made since I came to the club have all contributed and added to the squad and that is part of what we have to do. 

“We have to complement what we have in our group with other different types of players and also young players. I’m happy with our recruitment model and the processes that we go through.”

What has Haaland’s agent said about a move?

Mino Raiola represents the 20-year-old and spoke about his future in an interview this week with the BBC.

He said: “There are only a maximum of 10 clubs that can afford to buy him from Dortmund. Four of them are in England. You can call them and say ‘would you be interested?’ I think there is not a sporting director or trainer in the world that would say he would not be interested.

“It’s like saying: ‘Is there a Formula One team who would not be interested in having Lewis Hamilton?’”

How many goals has he scored?

Haaland has scored 43 goals in 43 appearances for Dortmund since signing for them in January 2020 from Red Bull Salzburg. This season he has 27 goals in 25 games and also seven assists for his club.

Who else is interested in him?

Although Solskjaer remained coy on his side’s interest in the young talent, he is of interest at United. If they were to make a move, however, it is understood they would face stiff competition as Manchester City are also keen – as are Real Madrid. 

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