Tuesday 28 January 2020

Red Bull Leipzig confirm they have made a firm offer to sign Erling Braut Haaland amid Man United interest

RB Salzburg's Erling Braut Haaland
RB Salzburg's Erling Braut Haaland
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Red Bull Leipzig sporting director Markus Krösche has confirmed that his club have made a firm offer to sign Norwegian striker Erling Braut Haaland, with Manchester United still hoping to beat them to the signature of the teenager.

Haaland's current ties to Red Bull Salzburg have fuelled speculation that he will opt to make a move to German league leaders Leipzig next month, with the sponsorships links to both clubs offering an option for the 19-year-old who scored eight goals in the group stages of this season's Champions League.

With Red Bull Leipzig fearing they will lose their star striker Timo Werner next month amid links with Liverpool and Real Madrid, Haaland is their first-choice target to fill the possible void and Krosche has confirmed his club have made a move for the striker.

"We have shown what we can offer him and which part he could play in our team. It's now up to him," Leipzig chief Krösche told Kicker.

Haaland staged talks with Leipzig last week that included a face-to-face meeting with the club's head coach Julian Nagelsmann, who offered him a vision for his future at Leipzig.

"I tried to explain to him in good English what my idea of football is. I think it went quite well," said Nagelsmann. "You can say relatively little after such conversations because they are usually very one-sided. You say a lot as a coach while the agent and the player mostly listen."

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is also believed to have met with Haaland last week and his relationship with the striker he worked with during his time as Molde boss refusing to be drawn on his links to the striker when quizzed by reporters in recent days.

German side Borussia Dortmund are also pushing or a deal to sign Haaland, with the final decision now set to be made by the player who has emerged as one of the most sought after players in European football.

Rumours that Haaland has a £20m release clause in his Salzburg contract will encourage the Red Bull group to try and keep the player in their set-up in a new deal with Leipzig, with his increased value likely to be reflected by a bumper pay rise and hefty release clause inserted in his new deal.

However, United remain hopeful that Haaland will take the plunge and move to United next month, despite concerns from some of his advisers that he will not good enough game-time at Old Trafford in a forward line led by Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial.

Former Norway striker Jan Aage Fjortoft gave his verdict on what happens next with Haaland to Independent.ie last week, as he suggested United face a fight to sign the striker.

"The links with United are inevitable given his past association with Solskjaer and I think the way United are working at the moment would be attractive for him," Fjortoft told us.

"They are looking to develop young players and are signing the best talent in Europe and there is no doubt at this moment Haaland is in that category when you see what he has done in the Champions League this season.

"It is all about picking the right club now. I expect him to move in January because any club scout who is not looking at a 19-year-old with this much potential needs to be fired, so he will have options.

"I know Borussia Dortmund are very interested and if I was making a prediction I would say he'd end up in Germany, but it is up to Team Haaland now to decide what happens next. They turned down a move to Juventus when he moved to Salzburg as they felt he would develop better playing regular first-team football and they got that decision right. Now they have another choice to make."

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