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Manchester United Reportedly Step Up Scouting of Molde Wonderkid Erling Haaland

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistJuly 9, 2018

MOLDE, NORWAY - FEBRUARY 21: Erling Braut Haaland  of Team Molde FK  Photocall on February 21, 2017 in Molde, Norway. (Photo by Trond Tandberg/Getty Images)
Trond Tandberg/Getty Images

Manchester United scouts are reportedly monitoring the progress of 17-year-old Molde striker Erling Haaland, the son of former Manchester City and Leeds United midfielder Alf Inge Haaland.

United scouts were in attendance for the second successive Molde match on Sunday as they defeated Norwegian rivals Valerenga 5-1, with Erling scoring two and setting up another, per the Mirror's Liam Prenderville.

Haaland's father had a feud with former United general Roy Keane. After suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury against Alf Inge's Leeds United in September 1997, Keane came back to seriously hurt the Norwegian's knee in April 2001 when he was at City, after which Alf Inge never played a full match again.

United's Eliteserien-based scout, Tommy Moller Nielsen, would have also been dazzled by Erling's display the week prior, as the teenager netted all four of Molde's goals in a 4-0 win over league leaders Brann

Football Talent Scout highlighted an initiative that Jose Mourinho's United could use at times:

FootballTalentScout @FTalentScout

17-year-old Erling Braut Håland (son of former Leeds United and Manchester City defender Alf-Inge Håland) vs league leaders Brann: 4' ⚽️ 14' ⚽️ 15' ⚽️ 21' ⚽️ Four goals in just 21 minutes! https://t.co/xNOgI15x9E

United chief Mourinho already has a capable striker leading his line in £75 million signing Romelu Lukaku, but Haaland could be a worthy investment for the future forward line at Old Trafford.

The English giants previously had a Norwegian hero among their ranks with the "Baby-faced Assassin" Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Meanwhile, Ronny Johnsen, Henning Berg, Bournemouth striker Joshua King and Magnus Wolff Eikrem have also passed through to keep the Norwegian links alive.

United legend Solskjaer manages Molde and recently gave his old club good hope of landing their target, telling Verdens Gang (h/t Ciaran Kelly of the Manchester Evening News): "He is probably not the world’s biggest Manchester United fan. But if they come to the door, there are not many who say no to that."

Haaland's recent record of six goals and one assist in his last two league games is sure to have left an impression on those in attendance, and writer Ben Wells found a comparative player in a former Liverpool star:

Ben Wells @FRfotballBen

I'm just blown away with how quick Håland is. He has a brilliant turn of pace, reminiscent of Torres in his prime, that allows him to get in behind defences with ease. Considering the fact he is 6ft 2in, it's quite amazing.

Any chances of United signing the youngster are helped by the fact he envisions a future in England, although it's not at Old Trafford that Haaland one day dreams of winning the Premier League.

He told Aftenposten (h/t TalkSport's Billy Hawkins):

“I want to be the best possible. The dream is to win the Premier League with Leeds.

“In addition, the goal is to become a better player than my dad was. I hope to get more caps than he did.”

With the Whites in the Championship and Mourinho's men finishing second to City in England's top flight last season, his chances of accomplishing that feat are sure to be better served with the Red Devils.

Haaland had failed to score in his previous five league appearances before netting six times in two outings, and he's sure to attract more attention from Manchester if he can keep his form going in the same vein.  

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