Solskjaer reportedly still frustrated over Haaland miss in January

ESPN report that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hasn’t given up hope of signing Erling Haaland for Manchester United.

They report that Ed Woodward pulled the plug on the deal Solskjaer felt he’d put in place to sign his countryman from RB Salzburg in January.

That was because of the insistence on a release clause from Haaland’s camp, and he apparently has a 75 million euro (£68.2 million) one in his Dortmund deal – but it only comes into effect in 2022.

The report says Solskjaer still sees Haaland as ideal player for United and alongside Jadon Sancho, sits at the top of his list of transfer targets.

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Since the failure to sign Haaland, United have made two last-gasp, aging signings up front.

Odion Ighalo arrived right at the end of that January window, but he looks off the pace now and is heading back to China in 2021.

Edinson Cavani looks a better option, but doesn’t offer anything like the longevity Haaland would have handed United in attack.

£68.2 million looks an affordable price in 2022 if Solskjaer is still in the hotseat to get his man, second time around – but there will be competition from clubs across Europe.

It is also worth considering what would have happened to Anthony Martial if Haaland had signed.

Would the Frenchman have returned to the wing? Ighalo’s arrival prompted improvement from him, so perhaps Haaland would have pushed him up a level.

Either way, Woodward failed to deliver Solskjaer’s preferred striking target for a relatively modest fee of 20 million euros (£18.2 million), and that understandably still rankles

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.