Erling Braut Haaland, Man United, Jurgen Klopp

Jurgen Klopp has explained why not even Liverpool would have stood a chance of signing Erling Haaland.

Haaland joined Dortmund from Salzburg for around £18million in January and has made an immediate impact in Germany.

The teenager has been an awkward, clumsy force of nature, scoring 11 goals in his first seven Dortmund games.

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That has led to criticism of Manchester United, who were one of the main contenders to sign Haaland this winter but reportedly pulled out of a potential deal due to a reluctance to negotiate with agent Mino Raiola.

Liverpool opted to sign Takumi Minamino from Salzburg instead, with the Japanese international taking time to acclimatise at Anfield.

Asked whether Liverpool had made the wrong call to sign Minamino over Haaland, Klopp replied: “The difference coulḍ̣̣̣n’t be bigger.

“Erling Haaland made a perfect choice with Dortmund, and Taki made a perfect choice too.

“Dortmund needed a striker. Everybody blames Man United for not getting him, but we wouldn’t have got him – not that we tried. It’s as easy as that.

“He wanted a top team, as soon as possible, with open space  Borussia Dortmund.

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“That’s timing. I hope you know how much I love and respect the people at Dortmund, but it’s not that they made a perfect approach and did this and that, it was more they were there, had the space, No.9… ‘Here we go, you are 19 years old, want to play Champions League, top end of Bundesliga, so go for it’.

“Nobody else had a chance, I’m pretty sure, no matter what they say. Taki finds here a completely different situation. That’s normal.

“We have no problems, particularly in an offensive position, but we need variation at moments.

“Taki tries everything. Against the ball he is top class, but if you ask him, although he doesn’t say it, he wants to do what we want him to do. But we want him to do what he does naturally.

“That’s the time we need, and you lose a little bit of quality in that period until you fight back.”

Football 365

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