Manchester United lost out on the signing of Erling Haaland because the whole club was not behind Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s preferred target, claims the star’s father.
Alf Inge Haaland is no stranger to the Red Devils, having tussled with them on numerous occasions during his time with Leeds United and Manchester City in the Premier League.
It was while playing for City that he suffered a horrendous knee injury after a rash challenge by United captain Roy Keane in April 2001.
In January, meanwhile, Erling turned down the chance to move to United in favour of Borussia Dortmund, where he made an instant, goal-laden impact following his transfer.
And his father believes United only have themselves to blame for failing to seal a deal.
“You never know how it would go in other clubs. It may well have been good, too,’ he told TV2 .
“We’ll never get an answer to that. But we are very happy with the clubs he has been in.
“You have to go to a club where the whole club wants you, not just the coach.
“I think that’s the most important thing, in addition to how the club has been over the last five or 10 years and what direction they’ve taken.”
The former Norway international’s thoughts were echoed by ex-United favourite Paul Ince, who believes the decision not to meet the forward’s €20 million (£17m/$22m) release clause was a mistake.
“If they want to close the gap on Manchester City and Liverpool then they need a world-class striker,” the ex-England international told Goal in March.
“They had the chance with Haaland, the young kid who went to Dortmund, that was sad really. He is a very, very good young player who can improve and you can’t let people like that slip through the net.
“That was disappointing that they couldn’t get him. They have got to have someone in who gets 20-25 goals a season.”
Haaland smashed 12 goals in 11 appearances for Dortmund in all competitions before the Bundesliga campaign was brought to a halt due to the coronavirus outbreak, and including his haul for Red Bull Salzburg prior to the January move boasts an incredible 41 strikes in 38 games in 2019-20.