Dortmund beat United, Juve to signing of teen phenom Haaland

29.12.2019 15:44

Borussia Dortmund beat a handful of Europe's top clubs to the punch on Sunday, announcing the signing of coveted teen phenom Erling Braut Haaland from Red Bull Salzburg.

"I had several intense conversations with the club's management team, in particular with Hans-Joachim Watzke, Michael Zorc, and coach Lucien Favre," Haaland said of the move. "Right from the very start, I knew I wanted to move here. I can't wait to get started and play in front of over 80,000 fans in the incredible Dortmund atmosphere. I'm so excited."

The 19-year-old striker was linked with Manchester United, Juventus, and RB Leipzig in recent weeks. The latter will be particularly disappointed in missing out on the rising Norwegian star, as Leipzig appeared to have a leg up on the competition thanks to sharing the same owner - Red Bull - as Salzburg.

The Red Devils, meanwhile, were reportedly unwilling to meet the demands of the player and his representatives. Haaland's father, Alfie, and agent Mino Raiola wanted a share of the profits from any potential future sale, reports Mark Ogden of ESPN. United were also unwilling to insert a buyout clause in the teenager's contract, Ogden adds.

It's unclear if those clauses exist in his Dortmund deal, but Haaland ultimately agreed to a long-term contract with the German side. A transfer fee was not disclosed.

Reports earlier this month suggested Haaland had a release clause in his contract worth €25 million. Salzburg were reportedly keen to incite a bidding war that could extend into the summer transfer window and were thought to be holding out for an offer in excess of €60 million.

Whatever Dortmund did end up paying, they're getting one of the game's most sought-after talents. In 14 league matches this season, Haaland scored 16 goals, adding six assists. He was equally dominant in the Champions League, forcing the football world to take notice by smashing home eight goals in six group stage matches; only Robert Lewandowski scored more times in the opening round of this season's tournament.

The towering forward will link up with his new teammates on Jan. 3 before departing for the club's winter training camp in Spain.

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