Erling Haaland: Napoli Chief Discloses How Raiola Stopped Him From Signing Striker From Salzburg

Erling Haaland: Napoli Chief Discloses How Raiola Stopped Him From Signing Striker From Salzburg

Elijah Odetokun
March 1, 2024 at 6:42 AM
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Erling Braut Haaland logo
E.Haaland
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Napoli
Italy
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Red Bull Salzburg logo
Red Bull Salzburg
Austria
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Borussia Dortmund logo
Borussia Dortmund
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R. Lukaku
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  • Erling Haaland has been hot for Manchester City since joining in 2022
  • The striker moved to England from Borussia Dortmund for £51 million
  • Napoli's president has disclosed his previous interest in that goal machine

Erling Haaland's career could have taken a different turn if not for his agent's intervention that stopped him from going to a top European club in 2020.

Haaland was on the radar of many top European clubs during his days at RB Salzburg, including Manchester United, but opted for a move to Borussia Dortmund.

Erling Haaland, Virgil van Dijk, RB Salzburg, Liverpool, UEFA Champions League, Anfield.
Erling Haaland in action against Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League during his time at RB Salzburg. Photo by Joe Klamar/AFP.
Source: Getty Images

The interest in him continued beyond the Signal Iduna Park, with Chelsea having an informal proposal rejected by the club in the summer of 2021, per Sky Sports, and they signed Romelu Lukaku instead.

Manchester City secured his signing in the summer of 2022 for a fee reported to be £51 million, and he helped the club to a historic treble in his first season.

Napoli was close to signing Haaland

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has opened up on how he almost signed the Norwegian striker from RB Salzburg, but the deal was stopped by his former agent, the late Mino Raiola.

He disclosed this while speaking at the Financial Times Business of Football Summit, as quoted by Tutto Mercato.

“I remember when I discovered Haaland. For me, he was a great player. He was at Salzburg. I wanted to buy him for €50 mil ( £43mil),” he said.
“Then Mino Raiola took me into a living room and said, ' For Haaland, I’ve already taken care of it. Don’t worry. Don’t get in the way,’ The negotiation was interrupted. He had already organised everything (for Haaland) and arranged his benefits.”

The Italian filmmaker signed Victor Osimhen from Lille instead. The Nigerian forward helped the club to win the Serie A title last season.

Haaland dismisses ‘unhappy’ rumours

Sports Brief reported on Haaland dismissing rumours he's unhappy at Man City amidst transfer interest from Real Madrid in the summer of 2024.

The 23-year-old, who was born in England when his father was playing for Leeds United, admits he loves the weather, people and the banter of English football even though his sole focus is football.

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Elijah Odetokun photo
Elijah Odetokun
Elijah Odetokun is Reuters-trained journalist with three years of experience having previously worked at Daily Times Nigeria, OmaSports and El Futbolero.