Ed Woodward pulled the plug on Man Utd's Erling Haaland move
Death. Taxes. Manchester United failing to sign Borussia Dortmund players
The transfer window may have only just closed, but there's absolutely zero danger of reports linking Manchester United with big money moves for Borussia Dortmund's attacking talent drying up any time soon.
While most of the focus over summer was on United's doomed pursuit of Jadon Sancho, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had set his sights on his now-teammate Erling Haaland prior to the January transfer window.
After catching the eye with a goal-laden run in the Champions League group stages for Red Bull Salzburg, it became clear Haaland would be leaving the Austrian club before the end of last winter. Solskjaer, who managed Haaland at Molde FK, was more than keen to bring him to Old Trafford. And were it not for Ed Woodward, the transfer might well have gone ahead.
A report from ESPN says that Solskjaer and Haaland had met last December, with the United boss believing he had reached and agreement with the Leeds-born striker. Reluctant to pay the agent fees attached to the deal and deterred by the eagerness of Haaland's camp to add a release clause, Woodward pulled the plug on a €20m deal. After that, Haaland joined Dortmund, where his free-scoring run has continued.
The same report claims Solskjaer was left frustrated by the failure to land his countryman, believing a move still made financial and sporting sense for United. Such frustration will have been exacerbated by their unsuccessful attempts to recruit Sancho, but Solskjaer is refusing to give up hope of United signing both players from Dortmund in the future.
If that is to happen, United's form will need to pick up drastically for Solskjaer to keep his job. An opening day defeat to Crystal Palace was perhaps owed to a lack of sharpness and match fitness after a shortened pre-season. But after a fortunate late winner at Brighton, their 6-1 hammering at home to Tottenham has raised some questions as to whether Solskjaer is the man to lead United in the long-term.