Date published: Monday 4th May 2020 7:30
Erling Haaland has highlighted which Liverpool player he admires the most and has once again addressed speculation that he could leave Borussia Dortmund for Manchester United this summer.
The Norwegian sensation burst onto the scene this season with Red Bull Salzburg.
His 28 goals in 22 appearances for the Austrian high flyers grabbed the attentions of Europe’s heavy hitters, with his sparkling goalscoring displays versus Liverpool in the Champions League a particular highlight.
Man Utd were one of a number of clubs who sought to secure his signature in January, though the potential deal broke down amid the player having one key uncertainty about the Red Devils.
A move to the Bundesliga with Dortmund was eventually agreed, where Haaland demolished any concerns that he’d struggle at a higher level by notching a further 12 goals in 11 appearances.
His continued rapid rise has ensured a host of European giants have maintained hope of luring him away from Germany after a short stint, with recent reports revealing both Real Madrid or Man Utd could succeed by launching a massive bid.
But the centre forward insists he is happy for the moment at Dortmund – admitting that his team’s Westfalenstadion home makes his hairs stand on end.
“I have just arrived,” said Haaland. “I am very happy here. I want to achieve many things.
“I am only concentrating on that. The stadium here gives me goose bumps, and I feel well here.”
Haaland’s representatives are understood to have insisted that a release clause be inserted into his Dortmund contract, ensuring a bigger club would not have to break the bank should they wish to act on their interest.
However, that clause does not kick in until summer 2021, meaning that despite Haaland’s fond words for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, a move to Old Trafford any time soon looks extremely unlikely.
Haaland praise for Virgil van Dijk
Haaland, meanwhile, has named Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk as ‘incredible’ and has named the Dutchman as the hardest defender he has played against so far.
Haaland, then with Salzburg, faced Van Dijk twice in the group stages of the Champions League; a 4-3 defeat at Anfield – in an incredible game that brought Takumi Minamino to the world’s attention and highlighted him as a future Jurgen Klopp target – and a 2-0 loss in Austria that ensured Liverpool moved into the knockout phase.
Reflecting on his clashes against Van Dijk, Haaland admitted the Dutchman had made his mark.
“He is so good,” said Haaland. “He is powerful, quick, he possesses all the qualities. He is an incredible player.”