Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Friday morning travelled to Austria to hold talks with the Red Bull Salzburg young striker, Erling Haaland.
According to reports, the Red Devils had to step up their pursuit of the Norwegian forward in order to get him in the January transfer window. Haaland burst onto the scene this season, netting 22 goals in 15 games for the Austrian side.
The United boss had to make the short trip to Austria to meet the player and his representatives after learning Haaland had met with representatives from Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig on Wednesday. He then returned to Manchester to prepare his side for Sunday’s Premier League clash against Everton at Old Trafford.
Solskjaer and Haaland have worked together in Norway. Solskjaer will no doubt be hoping the personal touch will help persuade Haaland who played under him at Molde, where he scored 26 goals in 18 matches in all competitions.
On Wednesday, Haaland started his day at the German club Leipzig before flying to another rival club, Dortmund. The latter are looking to sign a striker in the January window due to their Spanish striker Paca Alcacer being often injured.
It is understood that a switch to Salzburg’s sister club RB Leipzig appears the most likely option. The reason is that RB Leipzig, who are owned by the same company as Salzburg, are also reportedly keen on Haaland, whose release clause is just £17m.
During his meeting with Leipzig officials, it was gathered that the club told the striker’s father who accompanied his son to the club that the development at the club is best suited to for the Norwegian before he makes the move to one of Europe’s elite clubs.
Speaking about his talent, Leipzig head coach, Julian Nagelsmann has said that the Bundesliga will be good for his talent and football philosophy. The coach, who is a known admirer of Haaland, added that the striker will be fit for his team which is the youngest in the Bundesliga.
After leaving Leipzig, in other to be the first to sign the teenage striker, Borussia Dortmund reportedly flew Haaland in a chartered jet into Dortmund Airport on Wednesday, 24 hours after Liverpool defeated Salzburg. A
Before the Liverpool game, Haaland had said that he just wants to focus on playing football and not bother himself with all the transfer rumors going around. He added that if he wants to leave Salzburg, he would like to secure a move to a club where he is guaranteed to play.
He said: “I just focus on my job – playing football – to enjoy what I do every day and to go in with a clear mindset to be in the present and enjoy the moment right now.
“My focus is Salzburg and me as a player. So it’s not hard at all.”