Borussia Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke has revealed the tactic which saw them beat Man Utd to a top-class star.
The German side are known for their ability to mould young players into Champions League-level quality. They have helped the careers of Robert Lewandowski, Ilkay Gundogan and Christian Pulisic, just to name a few.
Whether it’s through the academy or shrewd signings, Dortmund always find a way to compete at the top level. They struggle to usurp Bayern Munich as German champions but did win last season’s DFB-Pokal.
Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland both scored twice as they eased past RB Leipzig in the final.
Sancho has since joined Man Utd for £73m. He arrived at Old Trafford with plenty of promise but is yet to make his mark on the first team.
Haaland, meanwhile, has bagged 13 goals in just ten appearances this term. He continues to impress scouts all across Europe with his dominant displays.
The Norwegian recently suffered a setback – he will spend time on the sidelines due to a hip flexor problem.
But the striker is expected to continue his fine form when he returns from injury next year.
Watzke has now opened up on how Dortmund beat Man Utd to Haaland’s signature. He signed a long-term deal with BVB in January 2020 when joining from Red Bull Salzburg, despite interest from the Red Devils.
“Our offer wasn’t the best,” Watzke admitted (via Daily Mail). “The offer from Man Utd was better. However, agent Mino Raiola has recognised that Erling is in better hands with us.
“People notice that gifted people make the breakthrough the quickest with us. That is a powerful argument for the players, their parents and advisors.
“When we discovered the players on our own is long gone, but we will get them. We have no inhibitions about letting 17-year-olds play.”
Haaland has a £68m release clause which activates next summer. Man Utd are joined by Man City, Chelsea, PSG and Real Madrid in the hunt for his services.
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Raiola is a busy man as he is also dealing with the future of Paul Pogba. The French midfielder is out of contract in June and a breakthrough over an extension is yet to be reached.
Express, citing reports in Italy, state that Juve want to re-sign him. They have organised discussions with Raiola which will take place in November.
The agent will inform Juve over whether a January capture could take place. They will also speak about the futures of Federicio Bernardeschi and Milan skipper Alessio Romagnoli.
Pogba has made 218 appearances for Man Utd in all competitions. He helped them to lift the Europa League and Carabao Cup in 2017.
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