Manchester United officials were reported to have been left stunned after Erling Haaland went back on his decision to sign for them and instead opted for Borussia Dortmund.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s search for attacking reinforcements in January initially began with Haaland, with the ex-RB Salzburg man becoming Europe’s hottest property after netting 28 times in 22 games for the Austrian side.
The fascinating transfer saga pulled this way and that, with reports surfacing each day that a move was nearing, only for Borussia Dortmund to sweep in just days before the window opened.
The 19-year-old’s sensational form has continued despite the step up in level; the player already having scored 11 goals for his new side in his first seven matches, including a breathtaking double on Tuesday night as he made his debut for Dortmund in the Champions League in the last-16 clash against PSG.
However, it could all have been a very different story for United, with their frustrations even more prevalent after a report claimed the striker had initially told the Red Devils he intended to sign for them.
The Athletic report that Haaland made a U-turn having spoken directly to senior officials at Old Trafford, including Ole Gunnar Solskjaer who he had previously worked with at Molde.
They wrote: “The Athletic has been told that Haaland informed Solskjaer and Ed Woodward of his desire to join United when the pair flew to Salzburg on December 13.
“But ultimately the striker changed his mind and signed for the German club.”
Many reasons were touted as to why Man Utd failed to secure the Leeds-born man’s signature, with super agent Mino Raiola giving us his unique take.
The popular theory, however, was that Ed Woodward and co were unwilling to meet the player’s eye-watering wage demands.
Kan du løpe som Erling Braut Haaland? We don't think so! 🚀 pic.twitter.com/i8puYDVm1p
— TV 2 Sporten (@2sporten) February 19, 2020
Speaking in an interview with Viasport, the Norway international said: “Ole has been very important for me in getting to where I am today, but we concluded that Dortmund was the best option for me.
“That was where I felt best about, and therefore it became Dortmund.”
When quizzed on the idea that his lofty wage demands were a hurdle that could not be overcome, Haaland rubbished the thought.
“No, it’s the guys writing would have to speak to that. They’ll have to explain it to me if they meet me. It’s not my focus, whatsoever.
“It’s kind of comical if I were to get that label. All the people closest to me know that’s not the kind of person I am.”
Haaland insists there is more to come
Haaland underlined his qualities with a brilliant double on Tuesday night as Dortmund gave themselves a solid chance of progressing to the quarter-finals of the competition.
But despite being awarded man of the match, the 19-year-old insists he has a lot more to offer.
“I am glad about the man-of-the-match award, but feel like I still can do a lot better,” Haaland said.
“I have to play better at this level, have to work hard to improve. The result is quite a dangerous one, as PSG has a very strong team and can still go through in the return leg.”
Haaland will be back in acton on Saturday when Dortmund travel to Werder Bremen.