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How communication mishap thwarted Manchester United’s pursuit for Erling Haaland.

In 2018, Manchester United were on the verge of securing Erling Haaland for just £3m. However, this did not materialize as communication blunders in the eleventh hour changed the whole situation.

It was John Murtough blunder that cost Manchester United a now hotly coveted player in the world. Manchester United were closing in on obtaining Haaland’s signature from Norweigian Molde in 2018. Confusion over different time zones saw them lose their pursuit.

Manchester United chiefs had arranged a with Jim Solbakken, Haaland agent to finalize the deal through a 9 am phone call. The deal was worth £3million plus add-ons. Unfortunately, at that time of calling Haaland had already signed for Red Bull Salzburg.

The deal had backfired. Manchester United agents had failed to make clear communication on the time the call will take place, either the British Summertime or the Norwegian Summertime. They made a call at 9 am British summertime, which was one hour late to the Norweigian time that Jim had anticipated receiving the call.

Although Manchester United official who was involved in this transfer blunder was previously unknown, it is believed it was John Murtough, now the club’s new Football Director. Murtough was the person who was tasked with the role of making that crucial call to Jim Solbakken.


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Manchester United are one of the clubs competing to sign Erling Haaland. With Ole-Gunnar having managed the 20 years old star at Molde, there is hope that he may convince the youngster due to their personal relationship. Haaland is currently the club’s No.1 target for the no 9 position.

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