Juventus are set to win the race to sign Erling Haaland ahead of Manchester United.
The Norwegian striking sensation has scored a staggering 22 goals in 28 games this season for Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg and shot to prominence following his exploits during the group stages of the Champions League.
United were said to be in pole position to land the 19-year-old last week and were prepared to offer Haaland a heavily incentivised contract worth £200,000-a-week.
Speculation intensified last Friday when the teenager, who was coached by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer during their time together at Molde, was spotted at Manchester airport.
Solskjaer, however, played down the suggestion that Haaland’s trip had anything to do with the possibility of him signing imminently for United.
He said: ‘I don’t think he’s en route here, to be fair, not through me anyway. You know I can’t comment on other teams’ players, I’ve said that many times and that’s just one of those things in this job you get speculation a lot of the time.
‘I don’t think he is en route here. He is on a business holiday. You can’t fly anywhere from Stavanger. You need to go via, here.’
Despite Solskjaer publicly remaining coy, United had been increasingly confident of winning the race to sign Haaland but reports in Italy suggest the Norwegian has chosen Juventus as his next club.
Tuttosport claim that the Italian champions have utilised their strong relationship with agent Mino Raiola to engineer a deal that would see Haaland join the Italian champions, while Corriere della Sport reports that Juve boss Maurizio Sarri has instructed his club’s board to ‘go after’ the striker.
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By contrast, Raiola has not always seen eye-to-eye with the United hierarchy having seen several of his clients, including the likes of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, pass through Old Trafford in recent years.
Raiola, who would have demanded a £12million fee for taking Haaland to United, also represents Paul Pogba.
The France international’s own United future remains a matter of conjecture, despite Solskjaer happily welcoming him back to the first team fold on Sunday following an ankle injury which had ruled him out since September.
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