Manchester United have seen their chances of poaching goal machine Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund suffer what appears to be a knockout blow.
Haaland exploded onto the scene in September with a hat-trick on his Champions League debut for RB Salzburg, the Norwegian going on to score 28 goals before the turn of the year for the Austrian side.
Such form peaked United’s interest and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were heavily linked with a move for the striker, who turns 20 in July.
However, Dortmund beat the Red Devils to Haaland’s signature, his father revealing that the fact that the “whole” of Dortmund wanted his son swayed the decision in the Bundesliga giants’ favour.
But recently talk has emerged that a clause in Haaland’s deal will allow the striker to leave the Westfalenstadion for a bargain £63m fee this summer, fueling suggestions that United and Real Madrid could launch sensational bids to sign him.
However, any hopes United may have had about signing the striker when the window reopens later this year and handing Dortmund an instant profit on their investment appear to have been dashed once and for all after a report dismissed the notion that his clause comes into effect this summer.
According to Bild, Haaland’s exit clause at the Westfalenstadion does not come into play until summer 2022, meaning the likes of United must wait at least another 24 months before they can consider activating it.
Interested clubs would, therefore, have to break the bank to convince Dortmund to cash in on the 19-year-old superstar in the meantime.
And while they look unlikely to sell so soon after signing him from Salzburg, there may come a time when Dortmund may be forced to consider their options on the forward depending on the state of the market at the time and against any offers they may have on the table for Haaland.
In addition, there’s nothing preventing Dortmund looking to offer Haaland improved terms in the coming months and looking to extend his exit clause higher.
Furthermore, the striker has since moved to rubbish speculation that he could leave the Bundesliga side so soon, telling FourFourTwo about speculation he could leave: “I don’t talk about that; I can talk about me and my club.
“It’s always nice when clubs are interested. It means you’ve done something right.”
Haaland explains decision to join Dortmund
Haaland has also explained his thinking behind snubbing United in January for Dortmund, adding: “I had a very good feeling about Dortmund from the first moment, and that’s why I’m here.
“I liked the whole club, the history, the people in the club and how they run it.
“We decided Dortmund was the best option. And it is!
“We’re capable of everything. The start here has been absolutely fantastic, and the club have helped me a lot – it’s not easy to come to a new place in the middle of the season.
“I already feel at home.”
United are likely to be in the market for a new striker this summer, but news that Haaland’s release clause won’t come into play, as initially thought, could force them into a change of heart.