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Erling Haaland clears the air on who’s to blame for him not joining Man Utd

Goalscorer extraordinaire Erling Haaland had the occasion to work for a spell with former Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Molde although the striker invariably ended up plying his scintillating skills at the Etihad rather than at Old Trafford, assuredly much to the chagrin of all and sundry at United.

Despite having only graced the Premier League around 18 months ago, it’s easily understandable that United fans and management would be thoroughly depressed at the sight of him. Already armed with a remarkable goalscoring record the moment he arrived on English shores the striker almost instantly proceeded to grab the goals which led United’s neighbors to a historic treble last season. United, without any doubts, know firsthand just how deadly the Norwegian boogieman can be.

Ahead of Sunday’s highly anticipated Manchester derby, Haaland has faced United three times, scoring five goals and registering a further three assists. But had things turned out slightly differently, Haaland could have been playing for the Red Devils instead of conspiring against them.

Former Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was one of the first people to recognise Haaland’s prodigious talents after working with him at Molde. A reunion at Old Trafford seemed logical, only for Haaland to end up at Borussia Dortmund.

Solskjaer’s former teammate, Gary Neville, asked Haaland about that shortly after he arrived at City. Speaking on Sky Sports, Neville said: “Ole was your manager. How are you not at Manchester United?”. Haaland’s response was simple: “You have to ask him.”

Solskjaer, meanwhile, revealed last year that he had flagged Haaland to United long before he was on the radar of Europe’s elite. At the time the youngster would have been available for just £4million – but the club hierarchy chose to ignore Solskjaer’s tip.

The Norwegian said: “I called United about six months before I took over and told them that I’d got this striker that we had but they didn’t listen. I asked for £4million for Haaland but they didn’t sign him.”

Haaland revealed that Solskjaer had congratulated him on his move to Manchester City in the summer of 2022 before wishing him all the best at his new club. The pair have remained in touch from their time at Molde, where Haaland scored 20 goals in 50 games during Solskjaer’s tenure.

Although he’s close with Solskjaer, he admitted that the opportunity to work with  Pep Guardiola was one of the key factors behind his decision to join Manchester City. Speaking at the time, Haaland said of his move: “Well, Pep didn’t have to sell the club to me, that’s for sure. He didn’t have to sell anything. For starters, he’s a special trainer and that was so important to me.

“We all know what he has done for his clubs, but also for players and for the game in general. That’s something I want to be part of. I think we can have a lot of fun together.”