Erling Haaland was the subject of a transfer squabble between Manchester United and Manchester City, but he has hinted that a move to Old Trafford was never on the cards.
Following his goalscoring exploits for Red Bull Salzburg and then Borussia Dortmund, the Norwegian hitman was much admired across the Premier League – and in Europe.
The Red Devils were said to be interested in the striker, with former manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reportedly keen on bringing his compatriot to Old Trafford.
However, Manchester City beat United to the punch, with Pep Guardiola’s men activating his contract’s release clause and offering him a five-year contract at the Etihad Stadium.
With Haaland now having been part of the squad for a matter of months now, he has hinted that becoming a Red Devil was never an option due to the uneasy relationship he has with United supporters.
Speaking to FourFourTwo magazine, he said: “Look, it’s all about banter and I enjoy that. I’ve already met some United supporters here in the city, and we’re always joking with each other. It’s about not taking everything too seriously.
“There are a lot of United fans in my home town in Norway, so I’ve always had to have a go at them. I’m used to this and I love it. Don’t take things too seriously. I want to be able to talk a bit like the fans, otherwise it gets a bit boring, doesn’t it?”
Since joining Manchester City, Haaland has had a successful career. He has three Premier League goals in as many games. He scored twice on his debut against West Ham United at the London Stadium, and he added another goal in the weekend’s 3-3 draw with Newcastle United.
City defender John Stones praised the Norwegian for his smooth transition to life at City. “I can only compare it to when I first came,” he told Viaplay. Everything is new to him, and he is still very young.
“The way he has settled in is credit to him and he has hit the ground running. Another goal [today] and what he brings to the team, his pace, his power and he is still learning how we play, and where he needs to be, so that is massive credit to him.”
While Haaland has begun to repay the £63 million fee that brought him to City, United still have a number of issues to address in their own frontline. But with a win over arch-rivals Liverpool, things are looking much better than they were a week back!