Missing out on Erling Haaland was a bitter blow for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the January transfer window.

The United boss’ former Molde protégé elected to sign with Borussia Dortmund despite interest from the Red Devils.

What was clear from Haaland’s move, was that he saw Dortmund as a stepping stone. United backed off for this reason, The Mail reported.

Haaland has a £65 million release clause which can be activated in 2022, BILD report.

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United’s response

United’s response was to look for a stop-gap solution. Odion Ighalo signed on deadline day, and he has done everything asked of him so far.

Solskjaer was so happy with Ighalo, that he chose to extend his loan deal this week until the end of January 2021.

This means United are under no pressure to sign a striker this summer, if the club choose to focus elsewhere.

It also raises the possibility of United deciding to wait for when Erling Haaland becomes available again, in two summers time.

Generational gamble

After missing out on Haaland the first time, United are lucky to get another opportunity, thanks to his release clause.

£65 million is a bargain even today, and it could look even better value in 2022. It is a long time for United to wait, but Haaland may be worth it.

 

We have firepower with Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood, who scored a combined 48 goals this season, in a campaign hampered by injuries.

Greenwood is still developing and is going to get even better, and then in 2022, could form a devastating partnership with Haaland.

United may also have Jadon Sancho by this point, Haaland’s current teammate, and this could become a selling point on a move to the Norwegian.

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Option open

Perhaps this is far fetched, that United would wait this long, for a striker who has already turned us down once, and may do so again.

But the point is, so far, United are keeping the option open. They can only try.

There has been no big commitment to another young striker like Timo Werner or Moussa Dembele, who would make a move for Haaland far less pressing.

Haaland, with 41 first team goals this season for Salzburg and Dortmund, may just be a generational talent worth waiting for.

The Ighalo deal allows United to get to next January, and start to put the feelers out to Haaland, before plotting our next move.

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