Manchester United are interested in signing Erling Haaland from RB Salzburg, according to reports in The Times, which suggest the Red Devils would have to bid in excess of £60m to secure the striker.
Haaland, 19, has burst into public consciousness after scoring 22 goals in 16 appearances this season for Salzburg. He has broken multiple Champions League records, including becoming only the fourth player to score in his first four Champions League matches, and currently has seven goals in four games.
The History and Statistics
Haaland is the son of former Leeds United and Manchester City defender Alf-Ingle Haaland. He has represented Norway at youth level from under-15 to under-21, making two appearances for the senior side in September. Earlier this year he won the Golden Boot at the FIFA U-20 World Cup.
After starting his career at Bryne FK, his hometown club, in the Norwegian League he scored 18 goals in 14 games for the reserve side to earn a promotion to the senior squad at just 15 years of age. The following season he made the switch to Molde FK where he continued his progression under the management of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, scoring four in 20 appearances.
2018 began with the striker scoring four goals against Brann within the first 21 minutes of the game, and Solsjkaer compared his style of play to Romelu Lukaku after the game. He received the Eliteserien Breakthrough of the Year award, finishing as Molde FK’s top scorer with 23 goals in 20 games, earning him a transfer to Red Bull Salzburg.
In Austria, he scored a hat-trick for his new club in their 7-1 Austrian cup win over SCESV Parndorf, which was followed up by another three against Wolfsberger AC in the Austrian Bundesliga. Since then he has scored two more hat tricks, including one in a 6-2 victory over Genk in the Champions League. Haaland also became only the second teenager to score in each of his first three Champions League appearances after Karim Benzema
The Norwegian striker is making his name in Europe due to his goalscoring record both domestically and in the Champions League against sides such as Liverpool and Napoli.
Having previously worked under Solskjaer, he will be well aware of the players’ goal-scoring ability and would no doubt relish the opportunity to work with the teenager again while adding to his limited attacking options at Manchester United.
The Times has suggested he would cost at least £60m and that Manchester United are keen to complete the deal in January if the club can be tempted to cash in on their prized asset.
If the price increases significantly it may be a sticking point as Manchester United spent a reported £130m on Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka during the summer. Along with that expenditure, Alexis Sanchez’s wages at Inter Milan are being subsidised while he is on loan.
Though if Haaland was to arrive Solskjaer would most likely feature him significantly as he has prioritised giving youth a chance this campaign, and other than Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial he has limited options in attack.
While he has shown a significant amount of promise during his first Champions League campaign, there are no certainties he would immediately start scoring in the Premier League. But Manchester United may be tempted to move quickly for their long-term target to avoid paying even more and make sure he does not join any of their rivals.