City eyeing Red Bull youngster

Manchester City
Red Bull Salzburg striker Erling Haaland is a Manchester United target.

Manchester City invited the father of in-demand Red Bull Salzburg striker Erling Braut Haaland to the Etihad last month, according to club insiders. 

Former City, Leeds and Nottingham Forest midfielder, Alfe-Inge, was a popular figure during his spell in Manchester between 2000-03, before he was forced to retire early due to an ongoing knee injury.

It is understood he was a guest of the Citizens for their 5-1 Champions League victory over Italian side Atalanta, in which Raheem Sterling bagged a hat-trick, suggesting the club’s powerbrokers are trying to position themselves in the race for Erling’s signature next year.

City’s director of football Txiki Begiristain also saw the 19-year-old score in the Champions League defeat to Liverpool at Anfield just a few days earlier.

Haaland Jnr stands 6ft 4in and is being tracked by all of Europe’s elite clubs, including both Manchester United and Real Madrid.

His club Salzburg have made it clear they value the teenager at £70m after hitting 23 goals in just 17 games this season.

Old Trafford boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appears to have an ‘in’, having helped bring the attacker through at his former club Molde, before Erling’s switch to Austria.

City sources believe Haaland is the ‘real deal’ and that his price is only going to go up, which is why they are trying to move quickly now.

They know record goalscorer Sergio Aguero will be in the final year of his contract next season and City’s scouts are actively keeping their eye out for the ‘next big thing’, having missed out two years ago to Paris Saint-Germain for France sensation Kylian Mbappe.

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Interestingly, Erling has signed up to a Norwegian Manchester City fan page on Facebook, which has seen him deluged by requests asking him to sign for Pep Guardiola’s outfit.

Alfe-Inge revealed only last week that his son would be open to a move to England, clearly having a big say in his next destination.

He said: “He was a Leeds and a City fan and a Nottingham Forest fan. He followed me but that’s what you do in your youth.

“There’s a difference between being a supporter and having it as a job. I think at one stage he would like to play in the Premier League. When that’s going to happen, I don’t know. It’s a very tough league.

“Up to now he’s ahead of the stage we thought he would be at. He’s built for the Premier League at one stage, I think.”

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