Haaland could have been at Manchester City back in 2019. MU almost bought him for Sulser, but Raiola got in the way

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The Erling Haaland saga is over: Manchester City has officially agreed with Borussia Dortmund on the Norwegian’s transfer. Erling’s transfer will take place on July 1, 2022. 

This is great news for fans of beautiful soccer, not only in Poland, but all over the world. Holland will no longer compete with Lewandowski in the Bundesliga, but making football predictions will not become less exciting. After all, the players can always meet in the Champions League!

Now all that remains is to finalize the agreement with the player himself and bring him to the UK.

But Erling could have ended up in Manchester much earlier: before he joined Borussia Dortmund, he was chased by MU and Ole Gunnar Solskjær himself.

Holland appreciated Sulsjær very much, and Ole reciprocated

Sulscher and Haaland knew each other well. Under his famous compatriot Ehrling had played 50 matches for Mölde and scored 20 goals. In the winter of 2018, Ole-Gunnar went to save Manchester, while Ehrling moved to Salzburg for €5 million to shake up the Austrian championship.

But that was later. Haaland moved to Moulde from Brunet in February 2017, and in April he made his debut for the new club at the age of 16. Before the match against Sarpsborg-08, as many as eight core players were undergoing treatment, and in the course of the match two more injured players were added to them.

Erling was no hero: he got on the field in the 71st minute and received a yellow card 65 seconds later. “A card? The referee judges, not me. I didn’t think much about the debut. I was told what to do, and I did it,” – as if the guy was not happy about the debut.

However, Sulscher was in no hurry to put a burden on the young guy. He let him out for the final minutes and increased his workload step by step. In the 2017 season Haaland spent an average of 27 minutes on the field; the following year the figure increased to 60 minutes – 25 games, 12 goals and 4 assists. This attracted top clubs, who began to follow the Norwegian super-talent closely.

Among those interested was MU – and Sulscher said that few would turn down an offer from United. Sulsjær had a similar idea in his words the year before: “If City or Leeds come for Erling, I will refuse the move. If it’s United, I’ll gladly accept.

Ole had already thought about moving forward to Manchester. But the boy went to Salzburg. Sulscher was upset, but he understood everything: in the summer of 2018, there was Lukaku and Jose Mourinho, who did not trust youth. A year later, Sulscher was already a coach – and he really wanted to see Haaland in the team.

Raiola prevented the reunion

The MU fans were saving their money to buy T-shirts with the name of their new hero. But Erling suddenly popped up in Dortmund, with his smiling agent, Mino Raiola, standing beside him.

Mino has never been on the same page with United: he has often argued with coaches over Paul Pogba and said the club needed reinforcement. Raiola even defended Ed Woodward, who never refused to accommodate another Mino client.

But in the case of the Norwegian it was a little different. Various sources have reported that Haaland and his father liked the MU offer – but it was ruined by the agent. ESPN journalist Rob Dawson explains: Mino demanded that MU specify in the contract the amount of compensation and a percentage of the subsequent sale of the player.

Borussia agreed to such terms, United were against it.

After that, Erling rocked in Germany, but Sulscher never gave up the idea of bringing the forward to Manchester. In April 2021, rumors again sent Haaland to Ole at Manchester United, but the latter was very reticent about the transfer and wished the player all the best.

Sulsjær’s dream was eventually achieved by another ”Manchester”. 

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