Man Utd: What could tempt Haaland to Old Trafford?
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Erling Haaland is a wanted man. Reports have claimed Manchester City are planning to hold talks with the striker’s agent, Mino Raiola, in January ahead of the summer transfer window. And that should alert Manchester United, who are also big admirers of the Norway international.
According to The Times, City will hold talks with Raiola about a move for Haaland in the New Year.
After missing out on Harry Kane, who stayed at Tottenham, Pep Guardiola is now primed to focus on the Borussia Dortmund instead.
City, if they add Haaland to their star-studded squad, would secure the signature of one of the best young players in world football.
But United are still expected to challenge them for the Norway international, especially with Edinson Cavani expected to leave.
And Haaland’s close bond with Solskjaer could work in their favour, with the duo previously working together at Molde.
The striker has previously praised his countryman for helping his development, admitting he was a big influence on his career.
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In 2019, when he was strutting his stuff for Red Bull Salzburg, Haaland revealed Solskjaer had ‘taught him a lot’.
“He [Solskjaer] has had a huge impact on my life, both as a person and as a trainer,” Haaland told TV2 in September that year.
“He won the Champions League and was an incredibly good player. He has taught me a lot.
“I have dreamed of playing for the best clubs in the world my whole life, and I especially like English football.”
A few months later, Haaland said Solskjaer was ‘very important’ in where he is today.
“Ole Gunnar has been very important for me in getting to where I am today,” said the 21-year-old.
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“But we concluded that Dortmund was the best option for me. That was what I felt best about and therefore it became Dortmund.”
A few months later, he added: “I arrived at Molde as a young kid, and he [Solskaer] helped me a lot.
“He was a good finisher and helped me with striking skills and different finishing methods. He’s been important in my career.”
In April 2020, Haaland revealed how Solskjaer took him under his wing at Molde.
“Yeah, when I came to Molde as a 16-year-old boy, he taught me a lot of things from day one, as you said, he was my coach then and he taught me a lot of things,” he said.
“He was a striker, I’m a striker and he has won the Champions League and that’s also a dream for me, so he’s been teaching me a lot of finishing skills and small movements in the box and these kind of things.”
And he added: “I forgot to tell you this, but before that game [against Viking in 2018), Solskjaer and I did some practice on finishing.
“Not just crosses. I remember he taught me some easy rules.
“The first one was on touch. That I don’t use too much power and try to destroy the goal or the goalie with the ball.
“I think that I was thinking about doing that and it was something new that he told me. I trained a bit on that, but without scoring. But at least I had it in my head after that training session.
“That was something he taught me in the days before that game and he has taught me a lot to be calm, and also be on your toes and come to those situations where the ball is coming.
“It is then you have the chance to score. He deserves a lot of credit for teaching me that.”
Solskjaer, for his part, said in February that Haaland would make his own choice regarding his future.
“It is clear that Erling is going to have a fantastic career,” Solskjaer told VG in February 2021.
“I follow Erling. I have always said that. Was it 18 months we had together or something like that?
“Almost two years, perhaps. A fantastic time. He will surely have a super career both for Norway and his club. He is doing incredibly well for Dortmund.
“We will see where he ends up. As a Norwegian and someone who has worked with him, it is of course great that he is doing so well.
“We will do our best to become a better team and he will do his best to be a better player, but where will he end up? I do not want to say anything apart from wishing him all the best. The choice he makes is up to him.
“I reckon Erling remembers when we sat at Lubbenes [Molde’s training ground] the day before the Brann game.
“I feel like that was an important day for Molde, for him and for our relationship.
“He had a very bad spell before that. I am sure he remembers that. It is a great pleasure following him.
“He will have a long, long, long career that is going to surpass most of what any Norwegian player has done.”
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