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Borussia Dortmund Chief Hans-Joachim Watzke Confirms Erling Haaland Came Close To Joining Manchester United In 2020

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Borussia Dortmund Chief Hans-Joachim Watzke Confirms Erling Haaland Came Close To Joining Manchester United In 2020

Borussia Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke has confirmed Erling Haaland came close to joining Manchester United before his move to the German giants.

Haaland, 21, has scored 82 goals in 86 appearances for Dortmund since joining the club in an £18m move from Red Bull Salzburg in 2020.

United were interested in signing Haaland before his move to Signal Iduna Park, with then Red Devils manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer keen to reunite with the forward who he had previously worked with at Norwegian club Molde.

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But a move to Old Trafford failed to materialise for Haaland, with former United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward reportedly reluctant to insert a release clause into a deal for the striker.

United's hesitancy allowed Dortmund to sign Haaland by agreeing to the release clause, which is thought to be around £63m.

Watzke has now confirmed just how close Haaland came to joining the Red Devils, telling 19:09 Talk: "We gave Erling Haaland a release clause… otherwise he would have gone to Manchester United."

To make matters worse for United, Haaland now looks set to join their rivals Manchester City in the summer.

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was reportedly keen to reunite with Haaland (Image: PA)
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was reportedly keen to reunite with Haaland (Image: PA)

City are expected to activate Haaland's release clause after reportedly agreeing personal terms with the striker.

The Daily Mail claim City have offered Haaland a 'substantial financial package' worth around £500,000-per-week, which would make him the highest-paid player in the Premier League.

City manager Pep Guardiola has refused to discuss the club's move for Haaland, recently telling reporters: "No answer to your question.

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"I don't have the concern or this business in my head right now to think about what is going to happen in this club next season."

Haaland went on to join Dortmund instead of United in 2020 (Image: PA)
Haaland went on to join Dortmund instead of United in 2020 (Image: PA)

Meanwhile, former Manchester United striker Louis Saha has urged Haaland to consider a move to Old Trafford instead of the Etihad.

"Haaland is young and ready for a step up, at the moment there are obviously bigger destinations where Champions League football is guaranteed, where trophies are maybe more likely," Saha told gamblingdeals.com.

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"I understand that. But the player is smart enough to understand that United will be back at the top, that’s for sure, and he will fit the bill.

"That's what United are looking for – someone who can guarantee goals, will definitely play for many, many years and who knows, could even break records."

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Featured Image Credit: PA Images

Topics: Erling Haaland, Manchester United, Football, Transfers, Premier League, Bundesliga, Borussia Dortmund

Rory O'Callaghan
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