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Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer spoke to the Norwegian media VG at last, and part of the conversation turned to Erling Haaland and the time the two of them spent together in Molde.
“Erling will have a fantastic race. I’m following Erling. I’ve always said that.
“Was it 18 months that we spent together or something like that? Almost two years, maybe. A wonderful time. He will definitely have a great career for both Norway and his club.
“He is doing incredibly well with Dortmund so we’ll see where he ends up. As a Norwegian and someone who has worked with him, of course it’s fun that he does it so well.
“We will do what we can to become a better team, then he will do what he can to become a better player. Where does it end? I don’t want to say anything more than that, that I wish you all the best. The decision I make may be up to him. “
Man Utd’s interest in Haaland is well documented: the club tried to sign the player before he moved from RB Salzburg to Borussia Dortmund. Two key reasons for the failed transfer mentioned at the time were playing time guarantees and a mandatory release clause to be added to his contract.
United refused, Dortmund agreed and the rest is history. Haaland’s performances in Dortmund, both in the Bundesliga and the Champions League, have earned him praise and further escalated rumors of a large money transfer in the years to come.
While Haaland’s contract in Dortmund runs through 2024, he has reported a 75 million euro buyout clause that was activated in the summer of 2022, meaning that if Dortmund did not sell the player for more than 75 million euros. euros in 2021, they could lose it for that fee the following year.
And as we’ve seen with Dayot Upamecano’s transfer to Bayern Munich, once the release clause is in place, the selling team can do nothing but find a replacement.
Are Chelsea favorites for Haaland?
Athletic reports that Chelsea are interested in signing Haaland this summer, although they will face competition from several of the best European teams.
With Thomas Tuchel, Chelsea have gone through a mini-renaissance and there seems to be a belief in the club that they are a couple of important signings away from the title fight. Haaland will offer goals and a focal point that Chelsea’s creative and expensive assembled midfield can play with.
Aside from signing Harry Kane from Tottenham, Haaland may be Chelsea’s best bet to bring in a proven scorer who can thrive in the Premier League.
Dortmund are fighting this season, sixth in the Bundesliga, facing a financial crisis and potentially out of the Champions League if things don’t improve for them. They already seem committed to losing Jadon Sancho this summer, and it will be interesting to see if they are willing to lose two key players in the same transfer window.
Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain have also been linked with Haaland, but apparently as a second option, and it all depends on whether Kylian Mbappé stays at PSG or if Madrid can woo him for the Santiago Bernabéu.
Regardless of that interest, if Dortmund make it to the Champions League, they would have no reason to sell Haaland. Their presence will be minimal as they attempt to keep Champions League football the following season, and the resulting revenue will overshadow any losses they take from selling the player in 2022 instead of 2021.
And given that United is also interested in Sancho (and vice versa), it will be interesting to see if United can break the bank to sign two attacking players for close to £ 200m when they need to invest in other areas of the team as well.
After all, Haaland is unlikely to move this summer, unless of course Chelsea come in with an offer that Dortmund cannot refuse. In the current Covid climate, even Roman Abramovich won’t want to spend that much money.