Report: Erling Haaland Set for Manchester United Talks Amid Transfer Rumours

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistDecember 20, 2019

SALZBURG, AUSTRIA - DECEMBER 10: Erling Braut Haaland of RB Salzburg inspects the pitch ahead of the UEFA Champions League group E match between RB Salzburg and Liverpool FC at Red Bull Arena on December 10, 2019 in Salzburg, Austria. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Red Bull Salzburg's Erling Haaland and his representatives have reportedly flown to England to hold talks with Manchester United with a view to a possible transfer.

According to Aftenbladet (h/t Naveen Ullal of Sport Witness), the Norwegian forward travelled to Manchester from his homeland on Friday. Haaland's father, former Leeds United player Alf Inge, is said to be part of the party.

Oliver Kay of The Athletic relayed the report, which suggests a move to the Red Devils may be moving closer to a deal for the 19-year-old:

"United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is managed by agent Jim Solbakken, and the latter also travelled with Haaland to England," Ullal said. "It's claimed Solbakken is involved in helping United sign the player."

Speaking at his press conference on Friday, Solskjaer played down the speculation that Haaland was on his way to Manchester:

The Evening Standard did its own investigating into the speculation, tracking a flight from Sola: 

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Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News and former Norway forward Jan Aage Fjortoft provided further updates:

Haaland is considered one of the most exciting prospects in European football, and as a result, he has been linked with some huge clubs. In addition to the Red Devils, it's been confirmed that Bundesliga sides RB Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund have already held talks with the Norway international.

Following United's win over Colchester United in the Carabao Cup quarter-final on Wednesday, Solskjaer said the teenager is a player he admires, per Fjortoft:

Given Salzburg have finished their domestic action for the winter break, it shouldn't be a shock that transfer speculation is beginning to ramp up. It was announced on Thursday that Liverpool have concluded a deal for midfielder Takumi Minamino.

But in an impressive Salzburg outfit, it's Haaland who has generated the most buzz, with his ruthless finishing at the point of the attack giving them an edge in the UEFA Champions League this season. As Squawka Football highlighted, his goalscoring record in Europe is remarkable:

Whichever club lands Haaland will believe they have secured a major coup because of the Norwegian's sky-high potential. This season, he's showcased an increased maturity and improvements in his all-round game. The manner in which he's been able to handle the spotlight of the Champions League has been impressive, too, with Haaland's temperament only likely to intensify interest in him.

United sold Romelu Lukaku in the summer and didn't draft in a natural centre-forward to fill the void in the squad. Haaland would represent an excellent long-term replacement.