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Manchester United transfer failure not due to financial demands, insists Erling Haaland

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 4 days ago George Flood
a man wearing a yellow uniform holding a football ball © Provided by Evening Standard

Erling Braut Haaland has opened up on his decision to join Borussia Dortmund instead of Manchester United, laughing off "comical" suggestions that a potential switch to Old Trafford broke down over unrealistic financial demands made by his camp.

After swiftly establishing a reputation as one of the hottest striking properties in European football with a prolific run at RB Salzburg, the Norwegian teenager completed a move to Signal Iduna Park on a four-and-a-half year contract in late December after his €20million (£16.6m) buyout clause was met.

Such a transfer came after a protracted saga that involved strong and persistent links to Manchester United, interest from Serie A champions Juventus and a visit to RB Leipzig.

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer pushed hard for the signing of a player he previously coached at Molde, even holding face-to-face talks, but Haaland appears to have been keen on Dortmund from an early stage.

"Ole Gunnar has been very important in getting to where I am today, but we concluded that Dortmund was the best option for me," 🚨@ErlingHaaland 🗣️JanAageFjortoft 🚨

❇️ Launched Dortmund as option himself

❇️ Says Solskjær was too late

❇️ Calls «greedy» label laughable

❇️ Thanks Mino Raiola for support

— Viasport Fotball (@ViasportFotball) February 13, 2020 " rel="nofollow" target="_blank">he told Viasport Fotball in Norway.

"That was what I felt best about, and therefore it became Dortmund."

It was quickly claimed in the aftermath of Haaland's move to the Bundesliga that United pulled out of the running over a refusal to meet certain conditions, believing that Haaland’s agent, Mino Raiola, and father, Alf-Inge, were demanding a percentage of future sales of the striker.

It was also reported that United rejected the idea that Raiola would have controlled the sell-on for Haaland in addition to snubbing the idea of a buyout clause being inserted into the deal.

(Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images) © Getty (Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

However, the 19-year-old has hit back at accusations of greed levelled at his team.

"No, it's... the guys writing would have to speak to that," he said.

"They'll have to explain it to me if they meet me. It's not my focus, whatosever. It's kinda comical if I were to get that label.

"All the people closest to me know that's not the kind of person I am. It's really been kinda comical."

(Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images) © Getty (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images)

The relationship between so-called 'super agent' Raiola - who also represents Paul Pogba - and United appeared to deteriorate significantly in the aftermath of the Haaland saga, though the latter has nothing but praise for his representative.

"He's the best in the world at what he does, as simple as that," he said.

"He's the best agent. He gets a lot of negativity, and that's probably because he's doing such a great job for those he's working for.

"He's helped a lot, and he's a good guy to have around."

Related: Transfer rumours: Daily round-up [Read Sport]


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