Jurgen Klopp defends Man Utd over Erling Haaland transfer failure

Haaland moved to Borussia Dortmund in January (Picture: Soccrates/Getty)

Jurgen Klopp leapt to the defence of Premier League rivals Manchester United for their failure to secure the transfer of Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland and insists Liverpool had no chance of getting him either.

Haaland chose to move to Dortmund from Red Bull Salzburg and has been in sensational form since his arrival, scoring 11 goals in just his first seven appearances for the Bundesliga outfit.

Two of those goals came in a 2-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League in midweek, with many pointing the finger at Manchester United for failing to secure the signature of the 19-year-old wonderkid.

But Klopp believes the criticism of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team is unjustified and that Haaland was always going to move to his former side Dortmund.

Klopp defended United (Picture: Getty)

‘Everybody blames Man United for not getting him, but we wouldn’t have got him,’ said Klopp. ‘We couldn’t have got him. It’s as easy as that.

‘He wanted a top team, as soon as possible, with an open space… Borussia Dortmund.

‘That’s timing. I hope you know how much I love and respect the people at Dortmund, but it’s not that they made a perfect approach and did this and that, it was more they were there, had the space, number nine… “here we go, you are 19 years old, want to play Champions League, top end of Bundesliga, so go for it”.

‘Nobody else had a chance, I’m pretty sure, no matter what they say.’

Klopp rejected comparisons between Haaland and his former Salzburg team-mate Takumi Minamino – who joined Liverpool in the January transfer window.

While Haaland has impressed, Minamino has been restricted to just four appearances in a Liverpool shirt, having arrived for £7.25million.

‘The difference couldn’t be bigger,’ added Klopp. ‘Erling Haaland made a perfect choice with Dortmund, and Taki made a perfect choice.

‘Taki finds here a completely different situation. That’s normal. We have no problems, nowhere really (for him to start) particularly in an offensive position, but we need variation at moments.

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‘Taki tries everything. Against the ball he is top class, but if you ask him, although he doesn’t say it, he wants to do what we want him to do. But we want him to do what he does naturally.

‘That’s the time we need, and you lose a little bit of quality in that period until you fight back (to your best).

‘He knows how I see it, how I think about it, about the people who have had the same problems before. He is fine, is training really hard, but it’s a situation you can’t compare (with Haaland).’


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