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The Standard – Kenya: Man Utd suffer transfer blow in January pursuit of Erling Haaland | The Standard



Erling Braut Haaland is a wanted man after impressing for Red Bull Salzburg. [Courtesy]

Manchester United will miss out on Erling Braut Haaland – because Red Bull Leipzig have first refusal.

Old Trafford boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had made the 19-year-old Norway striker his top target for the January transfer window.

But his chances of landing Red Bull Salzburg’s prodigious marksman have been dashed because of a contractual tie-up between the two branded clubs – and a £25.7m release clause.

Haaland, son of former Leeds legend Alf-Inge, has already bagged 26 goals this season. But reports in Germany in the last 48 hours have suggested that Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig are also interested in the teenager.

It means they will have first refusal because the buy-out in his current deal with the Austrians relates ONLY to their sister club across the border.

Leipzig sporting director Markus Krosche spoke in glowing terms last week about Haaland.

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And his father Alf-Inge has also suggested a spell in the Bundesliga should be his first port of call before he jumps into the Premier League.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is keen to bolster his attacking options. [Courtesy]

It means that Manchester United will miss out – unless Leipzig buy Haaland and then sell him on immediately for a handsome profit. Salzburg were holding out for a £75m payment, but that looks remote if Leipzig triggers the clause.

The transfer fee is a huge hike on the fee that the Red Devils could have paid when their attention was first drawn to him.

Haaland was just 16 years of age when he started making waves at his first club, Bryne.

Haaland, son of former Leeds legend Alf-Inge, has already bagged 26 goals this season. [Courtesy]

He was offered around for a staggering £90,000 – but no one took the club up on their offer. Everton did take a look at Haaland, but he was rejected on the grounds that he was ‘too wooden’ by the then recruitment team.

Even after Haaland left his first club for Molde, he was available for a cut-price £3m plus appearance-related add-ons.

But no one apart from Salzburg were prepared to take the gamble. Their punt on the youngster is now being rewarded with a potentially-huge profit.


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