Erling Haaland may reject Manchester United transfer because of two players
Man Utd: What could tempt Haaland to Old Trafford?
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Erling Haaland is Manchester United’s priority transfer target. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, John Murtough and Darren Fletcher all agree the Borussia Dortmund striker would be a substantial asset for the club in the years ahead. However, the 20-year-old may reject a move to Old Trafford by looking back at the struggles of Shinji Kagawa and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
United want Haaland.
Though they’ve opted against meeting Mino Raiola to discuss a deal for the time being, they’re very much in the hunt for the striker’s signature.
Their route to Dortmund’s young forward is far from straightforward. Chelsea, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester City all have interest in Haaland, even if they’re not willing to publicise that for now.
Yet while that’s the case, the player himself may need some convincing.
And the struggles of Kagawa and Mkhitaryan during their Old Trafford spells could prevent the Norwegian from following in their footsteps in swapping Dortmund for Old Trafford.
Back in the summer transfer window of 2012, Sir Alex Ferguson knew he needed some game-changers.
Having seen Manchester City pip his side to the Premier League title in the most agonising of circumstances, Eden Hazard was being eyed.
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However, when it became apparent the Belgium international would be moving to Chelsea instead, Ferguson changed tact by going after Kagawa instead.
The Japan international arrived with big expectations after shining in the Bundesliga with Dortmund, establishing himself as one of the world’s most-promising playmakers.
But, a fine hat-trick against Norwich City aside, United never saw the best of Kagawa.
The playmaker was often stuck behind Wayne Rooney in the pecking order and, in the end, was ruthlessly cut loose by Louis van Gaal.
Speaking last year, Kagawa opened up on his nightmare spell in England and admitted Ferguson’s departure, ultimately, was the final nail in his coffin.
“There was another change of manager [when Moyes was sacked],” Kagawa told The Athletic.
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“It would have been difficult for anyone. Ferguson had been there for so long and everyone knew how he worked. He kept adding small parts like new players.
“It would have been easier for Moyes if we had carried on winning. Maybe we expected to, but when we didn’t the confidence began to drop.
“[When Moyes and Giggs had come and gone] I was now in my fourth manager in just over two years. I joined a club with the same manager for 25 years and then they had Moyes, Giggs and van Gaal.
“I did not play well in the World Cup finals in Brazil. Japan were bottom and eliminated.
“I felt I needed a new challenge to help me get back to my best. Maybe that could have been in Manchester, but then Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao arrived.
“That only made my situation worse.
“I knew it was time for me to leave Manchester after two years when Van Gaal said to me: ‘Shinji, you are not going to play as much for me.'”
Undeterred by Kagawa’s struggles, United then raided Dortmund again in the summer transfer window of 2016.
Mkhitaryan had long looked like he’d join Chelsea or Liverpool, with both Premier League clubs eager to snap him up at the time.
Yet while the Armenia international had some highlights, especially in the Europa League, he was another player who fell into the dud category.
In 2020, he pinned the blame on Jose Mourinho for his struggles. He said: “[My relationship] with Mourinho was the most complicated in my career; he is a winner by nature.
“He wants you to win and you do what he asks you, it is difficult for anyone.
“There were differences and conflicts, but they did not have a big impact on the hard work we did and the three trophies we won.”
United may want Haaland badly.
But all he needs to do is look at Kagawa and Mkhitaryan and any feelings of trepidation can be understood.
Where Haaland ultimately decides to go is something only time will tell.
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