over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's long-term future as manager may have cost
Manchester United the signature of striker Erling Haaland in January.
Old Trafford chiefs were convinced they were leading the race to
secure the prolific 19-year-old before the Norwegian instead completed a
shock £18 million move to Borussia Dortmund from Red Bull Salzburg.
The decision was all the more surprising as it was Solskjaer who had
given his countryman a senior first-team debut when the pair were at
Haaland, who held positive talks with his former mentor in Germany,
has since underlined his predatory prowess at the Westfalenstadion - scoring 12 times in his first eleven games - including a hat-trick on
his Dortmund bow against Augsburg.
He has 36 goals in 33 Bundesliga appearances this term and there is
already talk Real Madrid are preparing a £150 million offer for the teenager.
Reports at the time suggested United had drawn the line at agent Mino
Raiola's demands to include a 40% cut of his client’s next big
move, which would certainly explain how Dortmund were able to sign the
forward for a knockdown fee.
However, the Leeds-born starlet may also have held reservations as to
how long Solskjaer will be retained in the United hot seat.
The Red Devils were languishing in ninth position when talks were
ensuing with Haaland, with speculation that the board were lining up
former Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino to replace
Solskjaer at the end of the campaign.
Alf Inge Haaland, the player’s father, has hinted Solskjaer’s own
future at the Theatre of Dreams could have been a factor in their
The former Leeds and Manchester City midfielder told TV2: "You never know how it would have gone in other clubs.
"It may well have been good, too, if we had chosen a different route. We will never get an answer to that.
“You have to go to a club where the whole club wants you, not just the coach.
"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
"Because it is dangerous to just sign for a coach, because he can be suddenly sacked."
- TEAMtalk media