Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reportedly flew to Norway to speak to the player and his father in an attempt to convince him to join the club but those efforts ultimately proved futile as the Bundesliga side snapped him up.
However, it later emerged that United had desisted from pulling the trigger on the player owing to concerns over a potential release clause that his agent, Mino Raiola, demanded be included in his contract.
🇳🇴 Erling Håland’s hat-trick on his debut for Borussia Dortmund. This man is going to be a superstar. 🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/tTCwjhdn2w— FutbolBible (@FutbolBible) January 20, 2020
Speaking to the media ahead of the match against Burnley, the Manchester United manager as good as confirmed that notion, saying that United pulled out of the Haaland deal as the club would have been unable to maintain 'control' over the player should he have signed.
“Of course we don’t want to inflate the prices,” he said. “That is important - that we use common sense.
“There are other things, too, when you sign players, that you have to keep in control. You can’t give agents the control by giving buyout clauses and stuff.
“That has been touted around. We have to be in control,” he clarified.
Manchester United have come under heavy scrutiny for their inability to be decisive in the transfer market, especially after injuries to Marcus Rashford, Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay.
Solskjaer teased short term deals in January to help tide the squad over even as a heavily publicised move for Bruno Fernandes drags on without conclusion.
(Quotes R/T Evening Standard)