Manchester United are one of many top European clubs monitoring Erling Haaland’s contract situation – but he could have already been a Red Devils player for an initial fee of just £3million but for a costly mix-up.
Haaland, who could leave Borussia Dortmund this summer for a fee of around £150m, enjoyed a breakthrough season at Molde in 2018, bagging 12 goals in 25 Norwegian top-flight games under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to help the team finish runners-up in the Eliteserien. That summer saw Haaland high in demand, but according to the Mirror, Red Bull Salzburg won the race for the striker’s signature after capitalising on United’s misunderstanding.
Haaland’s agent Jim Solbakken had agreed to take a call from a representative of the English giants at 9am in mid-August to finalise the cut-price deal, which would have also included performance-related add-ons.
However, Molde believed that United would ring at 9am Norwegian time (8am English time) rather than 9am Norwegian time, while Salzburg phoned at the correct time and tied up the transfer. The agreement saw Haaland eventually move to his new club on January 1 2019, before a phenomenal year in Austria saw him score 29 goals in 27 games across all competitions to secure a move to Dortmund less than a year later for around €20m (£17m).