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Man Utd target Haaland needs to pick the right club, says Fjortoft

1:00 AM SGT 10/12/19
Erling Braut Haaland RB Salzburg 2019-20
The Red Bull Salzburg striker has a clutch of admirers across Europe and can again showcase his talent in the Champions League against Liverpool

Erling Braut Haaland is ready to join one of Europe's biggest clubs and the move that could propel him to the top of the game is likely to happen in January, according to former Norway striker Jan Aage Fjortoft.

Haaland has scored eight Champions League goals this season as his free-scoring Red Bull Salzburg side have made a big impression in Europe's elite competition and they could end Liverpool's Champions League reign if they beat Jurgen Klopp's side in a decisive final game in Group E on Tuesday.

Ahead of a fixture being billed as one of the biggest club matches ever played in Austria, former Middlesbrough, Sheffield United and Norway striker Fjortoft has given Goal his verdict on a 19-year-old forward who has been linked with moves to Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Borussia Dortmund in recent weeks.

“Erling Haaland is as good as the statistics are suggesting and there is no doubt that he is the real deal,” stated Fjortoft. 

“First of all he is a goal-getter, but he has so many more parts to his game that will make him a special player who will play at the top of the game for a long time.

“For a boy of his age, he is already so tall and strong. That struck me the first time I met him. 

“In addition, he is quick, he has a natural talent to time his runs and that’s why he is getting so many chances. In addition, he has a wonderful attitude and is a big lover of the game. 

“He has it all and all that he needs to do now is make sure he picks a club to join that will allow him to continue to develop his talents. Every club wants him, but he needs to make sure he makes the right choice now.

“This game against Liverpool on Tuesday is a wonderful chance for Erling to show once again what he can do. Against the European champions, the invincible Liverpool team that are on their way to winning the Premier League title, he has a chance to score the goal that ends their reign as European champions.

“He has already answered so many questions in his short career and now he has a chance to pass another big test.”

Fjortoft went on to suggest Haaland has the right people around him to ensure he makes the right career move, with father Alf-Inge at the forefront of his advisory panel after his stellar playing career that included spells with Leeds and Manchester City.

“His dad is proving to be a good adviser for him as he knows from his experience how the game works and understood that moving to Salzburg when he did and turning down an offer from Juventus was the best option for Erling’s development,” he adds.

“Things might be different in the upcoming January transfer window and, if a club comes in with enormous amounts of money, they will have to let him go.

“From Salzburg’s point of view, this may be the perfect moment to sell him for the biggest price after he scored eight goals in the Champions League and then it will come down to making the right choice for Team Haaland.

“Manchester United is an obvious option given his association with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer from his time at Molde and their policy of signing young players, but Liverpool could be another interesting choice if they are interested because we know that Klopp is the master of improving players of all ages.

“I look at Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino and all three have become different players at Liverpool. Klopp and his coaching team have a track record of finding a way to get the best out of players and they could do that with Haaland. Also, I’m told that Borussia Dortmund are very keen on signing him, so it won’t just be English clubs trying to get him. 

“All the top clubs in the world would be crazy if they were not after the best 19-year-old player in the world, so expect this to be a big battle next month.

“We have read the rumours that there is a release clause of just €17m in his Salzburg contract, but I don’t think that will be for this January, so I’d expect some huge offers to come in for him next month."