Erling Haaland, Borussia Dortmund Agree to Contract Until June 2024

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IIDecember 29, 2019

SALZBURG, AUSTRIA - DECEMBER 10: Erling Braut Haaland of RB Salzburg looks on from the bench as players inspect 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

Borussia Dortmund announced the signing of Erling Haaland from Red Bull Salzburg on Sunday on a contract that runs until June 2024.

Borussia Dortmund @BVB

🤔 Wer schreibt denn hier schon seine Wünsche für 2020 auf? https://t.co/6rhGmVlMhs

The 19-year-old is one of Europe's most highly rated young strikers and has netted 16 goals in 14 league games for Salzburg and scored eight times in the UEFA Champions League in 2019-20.

Per Goal's Sam France, Dortmund paid €20 million (£17 million) for the teenager, who will link up with his new team-mates on January 3 before they head to Spain for a winter training camp.

Haaland was linked with several of Europe's top clubs prior to his move but said he had no doubts about joining the Bundesliga team, per the club's official website:

"I had several intense conversations with the club's management team, in particular with Hans-Joachim Watzke, Michael Zorc and coach Lucien Favre. Right from the very start, I knew I wanted to move here. I can't wait to get started and play in front of over 80,000 fans in the incredible Dortmund atmosphere. I'm so excited."

Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke spoke about how his club beat off competition from Europe's top teams to land the talented teenager: "Despite receiving numerous offers from some of the biggest clubs in Europe, Erling Haaland has decided that the best option for his career is to come and join our project here at BVB. Our persistence has paid off."

The 19-year-old will look to continue his upward trajectory at the German giants, who have a strong reputation for developing players and getting the best out of their youngsters.

Haaland will also add attacking power to Lucien Favre's side. He has been prolific both domestically and in Europe this term and has enjoyed a strong debut season in the UEFA Champions League:

UEFA Champions League @ChampionsLeague

😱 8 (EIGHT) goals in his first 5 #UCL games! Erling Braut Haaland 🔥🔥🔥 @RedBullSalzburg | @ErlingHaaland https://t.co/gXCEbYhJqR

Manchester United were reportedly interested in signing Haaland, but the Red Devils pulled out of the deal because of demands relating to a buyout clause and a percentage of future sales, according to the Guardian's Jamie Jackson:

jamie jackson @JamieJackson___

Utd pulled out of E B Haaland deal due to demand from agent and father of player of future share of any sale and buyout clause, is the understanding. He’s now a Dortmund player...

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer worked with the striker at Molde but played down rumours his club would sign the teenager before Christmas, per James Ducker at the Telegraph.

Bundesliga side RB Leipzig were also credited with an interest in the teenager, but the club's chief executive, Oliver Mintzlaff, told Sport1 that he expected his side to be priced out of a deal (h/t Tony Mogan at the Evening Standard).

The Independent's Melissa Reddy explained why she thinks Haaland made the right decision in joining Dortmund:

Melissa Reddy @MelissaReddy_

Very smart from Erling Haaland to follow the advice given to him by his family and Red Bull Salzburg to prioritise development above all else right now. A coup for Borussia Dortmund given RB Leipzig were in pole position for a while having made a big push for the teenager.

Dortmund fans will be hoping to get their first glimpse of their new signing when Favre's men play a friendly against Feyenoord in Marbella on January 11. They take on FC Augsburg when the Bundesliga resumes a week later.