Erling Haaland has suggested that Man Utd didn’t do enough to entice him to sign after explaining why he opted for a January move to Borussia Dortmund.
After months of speculation linking the former RB Salzburg striker with a move to Old Trafford, Borussia Dortmund announced the capture of the 19-year-old at the back end of December in one of the signings of the season.
The Norwegian has been in blistering form this season, having scored 28 goals in 22 games – including five hat-tricks – but has declared that he had little doubt that moving to the Bundesliga was the right career choice.
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer tried to put a brave face on the transfer snub and instead focused on the attacking options he already has at the club.
In reference to missing out on Haaland, Solskjaer said: “We didn’t find the right one outside our club but we now have Mason [Greenwood].”
And while Haaland held extensive talks with United over a move to Old Trafford, the striker has now spoken out about the factors that saw him snub the Red Devils and choose Dortmund.
“Dortmund just went direct and said we need you up the front,” the 19-year-old said.
“They told me they like my playing style and said, ‘We want to have you here’. I liked the way they spoke to me then and that was what triggered the move. I spent a few days looking around the club and speaking to senior people and I just felt that me and Dortmund were a good match.
“I spoke to other clubs, big clubs, but no one gave me the feeling I had at Dortmund.
“During my visit, I had several intense conversations with the club management team, in particular, Dortmund’s chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke, sporting director Michael Zorc and coach Lucien Favre.
“They were all really keen for me to join and from the very start I knew I wanted to move here.
“I can’t wait to get started and play in front of over 80,000 fans in the incredible Dortmund atmosphere. I’m so excited.”
Despite Haaland’s claims, reports have indicated United had trouble accepting some of the terms his agent Mino Raiola was trying to insert into the deal – top of which was a reported £40m exit clause.
Much has also been made about the reported bad relationship between Raiola and United, but the agent was keen to play talk of a rift down when questioned about it recently.
“I do not know if Manchester United are briefing this but if they are then they are covering their own loss and that I find strange and disappointing,” the 52-year-old said.
“There was no fall-out between me and Ed Woodward. It was just a normal negotiation and the player has chosen a different path.
“If they want to blame someone then, fine, blame me but the player is happy. He has made his choice and we went through a normal process.
“The club that he had the most direct contact with him was Manchester United. Clearly he felt that at this moment it was not the right step in his career.
“He chose Borussia Dortmund ahead of them and other clubs. When you are 19 then maybe you prefer not to go to the Premier League.”