Manchester United certainly missed out on acquiring Erling Braut Haaland.
The sheer brilliance with which the wonder-striker is functioning at Borussia Dortmund at the moment, with 39 goals being bagged all season including the ones during his spell with Salzburg, bringing the total games played to 29, is nothing short of incredible, with the Champions League numbers actually unprecedented.
As such, Ed Woodward has been subjected to heavy criticism for not sanctioning the move for the Norwegian starlet.
However, Jamie Carragher poses a convincing argument as to why the decision may have been the best one for United.
Writing in the Telegraph about the Red Devils’ failing to acquire Haaland, Carragher opines: “It is often said in football there are three key parties in a transfer who must reach agreement – the player, the buyers and the selling club. That is an incomplete story. There is a fourth who can never be underestimated: the agent.”
Haaland’s agent is the indomitable Mino Raiola and Carragher goes on to add: “Whoever signed Haaland from RB Salzburg knew they were not only getting an amazing young talent – they were also inviting the circus into town in the form of his representative, Mino Raiola. United, like every club scouting the Norwegian teenager, had to weigh up the value of the player against the cost of the distracting influence of his high-profile advisor.”
Carragher than goes on to suggest that Raiola would have almost certainly advised Haaland against the move, and even paints what the club would have had to do to land the player, adding: “Not unless United paid a massive premium, with reports emerging at the time that Raiola was seeking a significant percentage of any future transfer fee for Haaland. I can understand if Woodward said there had to be a line in the sand with the deal, even if the player’s success makes it look like it was a mistake not to push it through.”
A strong statement, and one that certainly carries weight when one views the Paul Pogba fiascos over the years.