Borussia Dortmund have signed Erling Haaland, beating Manchester United and Juventus in the race to secure the 19-year-old’s signature.
Haaland joins the Bundesliga club from Austrian side FC Salzburg, with his deal set to keep him at Dortmund until 2024. Sources have told ESPN that Haaland moves for an initial €20 million, which was his release clause.
Haaland’s move is a coup for Dortmund, with the striker enjoying a stunning season so far. He has scored 28 goals in 22 games this season, with eight coming in the Champions League, and he became the first teenager to score in the first five matchdays of the competition.
Sources told ESPN that United made an enquiry of Haaland, who was also linked to RB Leipzig and Juventus, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer — Haaland’s former manager at Molde — also travelled to Salzburg to meet with the 19-year-old’s advisors earlier in December.
But sources also told ESPN that United’s interest in the player cooled when it became clear that any deal would involve a share of potential future sale profits between Haaland’s father, Alfie, and advisor Mino Raiola.
United also would not accept a demand for Haaland to be given a buyout clause for him to move to the club. Sources have said the release clause mooted was as low as €50m.
The performances of teenager Mason Greenwood this season have also led to United believing that they can invest in the team in alternative areas, despite an acknowledgement that Haaland has the ability to become a major star.
A source told ESPN that Raiola advised Haaland to go to Germany, but the final decision was left to Haaland and his father.
Upon the announcement of his move to Dortmund, Haaland said: “I had intense talks with the club hierarchy, especially with Hans-Joachim Watzke, Michael Zorc and coach Lucien Favre.
“I had the feeling from an early stage that I really wanted to join this club and play in front of over 80,000 supporters. I can’t wait to get started.”
Dortmund sporting director Zorc said: “We can expect an ambitious, athletic and physical centre forward with a proven nose for goal.
“At 19, Erling is still at the start of what will hopefully be a massive career.”
A statement released by Dortmund on Sunday read: “Haaland will join the first-team squad on Jan. 3 before departing for winter training camp in Marbella the following day.”
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