Manchester United missed out on the chance to sign Erling Haaland before he joined Borussia Dortmund and Sam Allardyce has blasted the club for their mistake
A mix-up over the different time zones between Norway and England reportedly played a significant part in the Red Devils missing out on the superstar striker as Red Bull Salzburg swooped for his services in 2018.
Then, after excelling in Austria, Haaland earned a move to Borussia Dortmund in the January transfer window of 2020, despite the fact Man United looked certain to capture the coveted striker.
Haaland has since gone on to establish himself as one of the most sought-after strikers in world football after two year goal-laden years in Germany.
With a reported £64m release clause becoming active this summer, Europe’s elite clubs look set to battle it out for the 21-year-old’s signature in what is already becoming an epic transfer tug-of-war.
However, United could have captured the highly-rated Haaland for a fraction of that cut-price fee in the summer of 2018 when they held the advantage of being managed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – a man who had previously worked with the Norwegian at Molde.
Former Premier League manager Sam Allardyce has revealed United’s failure to snap up the star striker on both occasions when they had the chance was “mind-boggling”.
“And why Manchester United decided to let him go has been mind-boggling for me ever since it happened. And Ole had worked with him.”
“Allegedly, it came down to finance, then that is the biggest mistake that Manchester United – not Ole – made. I think Ole would still be in a job if he actually signed him.”
The in-demand Dortmund forward has struck 80 times in 79 appearances for the German outfit since joining in January 2020.
A host of clubs have been linked with Haaland in recent months, including Manchester City, Barcelona and Real Madrid – and it has been widely reported that the forward has his heart set on a move to the final name on that list.
Join the debate! For which team will Erling Haaland be playing his football next season? Let us know your prediction below.
“Whoever gets him is going to be getting a huge boost to the team,” Allardyce declared.
“When you go to 30 goals – touch wood, he stays injury-free – you’ve got 30 goals every season for seven or eight years, if you keep him.
“You’re never really going to get into trouble, but the rest of the team have to live up to his expectation as well, because he’ll want to win things.”
Despite his heavy links to Spain and Madrid in particular, Allardyce added that United once again hold an advantage in the race for his signature, this time due to the current financial concerns of the two La Liga giants.
2020 Getty Images)
“I think the best chance Manchester United have is based on the whole financial package simply because Real Madrid and Barcelona haven’t got enough in the coffers at the moment,” he added.
“They have never been as skint as they are now.”
Although Allardyce clearly feels United should revive their interest in Haaland and look to finally bring him to Old Trafford, it remains to be seen whether the club will attempt to strike a deal amid reports they have ended their interest in the hitman.