Man United transfer: John Murtough's Erling Haaland gaffe

  • Tom Kelly
Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland

John Murtough’s 2018 blunder resulted in Manchester United missing out on signing Erling Haaland for just £3m.

This season, Haaland has been in sensational form for Borussia Dortmund, as the lethal finisher has netted 35 goals in 34 appearances for the German side.

The Norwegian has been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford but it appears that this transfer could have happened years earlier and for potentially far less money.

Football Insider has reported that United’s new director of football Murtough missed the chance to sign Haaland for just £3m in 2018 due to a breakdown in communication.

Former Everton scout Brian King previously told the Mirror that United made a mistake in regards to bringing Haaland to Manchester, but Football Insider can now reveal that Murtough was at the heart of the blunder. 

In August 2018, Molde were expecting a call at 9am from the Manchester club to finalise a £3m deal. However, as England was an hour ahead, Murtough mistakenly made the call at 10am. In the meantime, the Norwegian side agreed a deal with RB Salzburg instead.

Talking to the Mirror, King described the predicament as a “freak situation”.

GIVEMESPORT’s Tom Kelly says…

Three years on from that horror mistake, Murtough is likely to be kicking himself each time Haaland hits the back of the net. Which is probably quite often giving his goal tally.

From a pure business point of view, this is a howler from the Red Devils. They had the opportunity to sign a generational talent for a £3m bargain but failed to secure the deal due to a basic human error.

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United appear to be one of the front runners in securing Haaland’s signature, with a recent report claiming he's their priority striker signing. The Norwegian’s release clause is reportedly £66m which will be activated in 2022.

If the Red Devils meet this release clause, the Manchester club would have to pay an additional £63m to what they were previously willing to pay in 2018.

However, if United want to bring the 20-year-old in this summer, the club would likely have to delve even deeper into their wallets. Transfermarkt value Haaland at a whopping £99m.

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