REVEALED: Erling Haaland would have moved to Manchester United instead of Borussia Dortmund in January 2020 had they inserted a release clause into the star striker’s deal, claims German side’s chief Hans-Joachim Watzke
- Erling Haaland was at Red Bull Salzburg and in demand back in January 2020
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believed he’d wrapped up a deal for the Norwegian striker
- But Dortmund swooped for a player after United failed to agree personal terms
- Hans-Joachim Watzke revealed United did not want to include a release clause
- To compound matters, Haaland is now poised to join their rivals Man City
Borussia Dortmund chief Hans-Joachim Watzke has revealed how close Erling Haaland was to signing for Manchester United in January 2020.
The Norwegian striker was impressing at Red Bull Salzburg and then-United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believed he’d wrapped up a deal for a player he knew well from Molde.
But reports at the time suggested that United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward pulled out of the deal because of Mino Raiola’s agent fee and a reluctance to insert a release clause in Haaland’s contract.
Borussia Dortmund’s chief has revealed how close Erling Haaland was to joining Man United
Man United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer thought he had a deal for his former striker from Molde
That allowed Watzke and Dortmund to swoop just before the January 2020 transfer window and snatch the prolific striker from beneath United’s noses.
To make matters worse, Haaland could now be on his way to Manchester City this summer.
Watzke has now confirmed the rumours from the time, telling 19:09 Talk: ‘We gave Erling Haaland a release clause… otherwise he would have gone to Manchester United.’
United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward was reluctant to insert a release clause
Dortmund chief Hans-Joachim Watzke has revealed Haaland would have move to United had they agreed to put a release clause into his contract
Haaland’s release clause is believed to be around £63million and, after scoring 82 goals in 86 appearances during two-and-a-half seasons with Dortmund, the 21-year-old is now set to move.
Though Dortmund only paid £18m for Haaland back in January 2020 and stand to make a healthy profit, £63m still seems like a steal for one of the world’s best strikers.
Having failed in their efforts to sign Haaland, United ended up taking Odion Ighalo on loan from Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua at the tail end of the January window.
Haaland has scored 82 times in 86 outings for Dortmund and is set to sign for Manchester City
They finished third in the Premier League at the end of that campaign but have been in decline ever since and may not even qualify for Europe this time around.
As Sportsmail revealed earlier this month, City have agreed terms over a £500,000-a-week deal to sign Haaland, making him the highest-paid player in the Premier League. He will come to the Etihad Stadium on a five-year contract.
In a strong hint that Haaland’s departure is imminent, Watzke said: ‘He has a decision to make, it will come eventually. But I’m sure we’ll find the new Haaland. We need the new Haaland.’