April 23, 2021

Part of Haaland’s heart ‘in England’ with close Man City and Man Utd connections

3 min read

Part of Erling Haaland’s heart will always be in England thanks to his father – and he now has emotional connections to both Manchester City and their rivals Manchester United.

Speaking exclusively to Daily Star Sport, Norway youth coach and former Leeds and Wolves defender Gunnar Halle has mentioned why there is no clear next destination for the Borussia Dortmund sensation.

Halle, who remains a crucial part of the national team set-up, worked alongside coach Erland Johnsen during Haaland’s first steps onto the international scene during his early teens.

An unexpected rise through the ranks has subsequently followed, with moves from Bryne to Molde, and more recently Red Bull Salzburg to Borussia Dortmund.

Erling Haaland of Borussia Dortmund celebrate a goal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 match between Borussia Dortmund and Sevilla FC at Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund, Germany.
Erling Haaland’s rise could take him from Borussia Dortmund into the Premier League
(Image: Getty Images)

Having been born in Leeds during his father Alf-Inge’s time at the club, young Erling grew fond of City and wore sky blue as a fan at the League Cup final against Sunderland in 2014.

When arriving at the Etihad earlier this week there was plenty of eyes on his reaction to taking to the pitch, but things might’ve been made more complicated by his connection to the current United boss.

A former Norway team-mate of both Haaland Snr and Halle, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gave the youngster a platform to thrive at Molde following no goals in 16 appearances for Bryne.

Erling Haaland has a close connection with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer of Man Utd
Erling Haaland has a close connection with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer of Man Utd
(Image: Instagram @erling.haaland)
Gunnar Halle, Manager of Norway during the UEFA European Under-17 Championship Between Norway and England at Pirelli Stadium on May 13, 2018 in Burton-upon-Trent, England.
Norway youth coach Gunnar Halle has seen Erling Haaland’s rise to stardom
(Image: Getty Images)

While Mino Raiola has begun talks with Europe’s elite, the player himself is keen to focus on his performances – with Dortmund’s Champions League campaign hanging in the balance.

Halle told Daily Star Sport when asked about the ongoing speculation: “It’s difficult to say with the Spanish and English interest there are so many things now that have to be considered with his agent and everything and the money of course will be quite a lot!

“But of course I think a little bit of his heart will be in England because his dad was playing there with Leeds and City but also his connection with Ole Gunnar so I think his Dad will maybe play a part.”

Erling Haaland's father Alf-Inge played for Manchester City between 2000 and 2003
Erling Haaland’s father Alf-Inge played for Manchester City between 2000 and 2003
(Image: Instagram @erling.haaland)

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Despite the money and sentiment playing their part, Halle believes that Haaland’s desire to score goals and taste success with come above all else.

He added: “Erling will be thinking about where he can have more success in the way he is playing and not the money, he will get a lot of money anywhere.

“I think they will see where he can play his best football and where the team and manager can help him – so it’s difficult to say at this moment.”

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